To consolidate its role as the largest port in Eastern Canada, and to secure its future, the Port of Montreal counts on innovation, which it has put at the heart of its strategic plan. We are resolutely positioning ourselves as a “smart port.” Several projects have been carried out to make this approach a reality.
Launched in the fall of 2016, the Trucking PORTal tool improves the traffic flow of trucks that come to load and unload containers on Port of Montreal territory. This downloadable application for smart phones informs truckers in real time of the wait times at the entrances to the container terminals on Port territory. The information lets them better plan their route and schedule, and avoid peak traffic. The result is reduced wait times and, in turn, fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2017, the PORTal was regularly consulted on a daily basis. Considering that this was its first year, these are very good results. They have made it possible to reduce wait times by 9% compared to 2016, while over the same period of time, truck traffic rose 5%. It is worth noting that about 2,500 trucks a day access the Port of Montreal.
In March, the Port of Montreal was invited to join a select group of port authorities called chainPORT, an initiative of the Port of Hamburg that allows members to exchange information and develop innovative, forward-looking solutions in keeping with the smart port concept. Along with the Port of Montreal, chainPORT brings together the ports of Hamburg, Antwerp, Busan, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Singapore and the Indonesia Port Corporation, ports that have proved their ability to innovate. The ports are invited to not only share their vision of a smart port, but also to pool best industry practices.
LNG supply system
The Port of Montreal innovated by carrying out a project to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel that emits fewer greenhouse gases than the fuel oil traditionally used by vessels. This project was jointly carried out with Énergir and Groupe Desgagnés, which showed leadership by acquiring vessels that can use LNG.
This system is available to all shipowners in Quebec whose fleet transits through the Port of Montreal. This is an important milestone for the entire maritime transportation sector. On May 18, Groupe Desgagnés christened the Damia Desgagnés, its very first vessel able to be fuelled by LNG. We hope that the availability of LNG supply solutions will be a first step in encouraging shipowners to follow the lead taken by Groupe Desgagnés, and turn to this efficient, cost-effective and cleaner option.
In July, the Port completed the first ever shore power connection at the new cruise terminal. The operation was carried out on the Holland America Line cruise ship Veendam. This was a first in Quebec. The project, totalling $11 million, received financial support from the governments of Quebec ($3 million) and Canada ($5 million).
The installation of this substation completes the shore power project, which was rolled out in two phases. The first was shore power for wintering vessels and the second, for cruise ships. In 2016, the MPA set up four power supply stations at Berths 25, 27, 29 and M2 for vessels that winter at the Port.
This project should make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,800 tonnes per year.
To provide a sufficiently powerful power supply for cruise ships, Hydro-Québec installed a new 25 kV line to supply the new substation installed at the cruise terminal in 2016.
Shore power: a first in Quebec
ÉTS Smart Port Challenge
In 2016, the Port of Montreal partnered with École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) to create the ÉTS Smart Port Challenge for students in the summer and fall semesters of the operations and logistics engineering program at ÉTS. We gave the students an actual innovation problem related to modelling the flow of truck traffic on Port of Montreal territory. The goal: improve the flow of truck traffic to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase the flow of goods. This corporate contribution stimulates the emergence and exchange of creative ideas on the cutting edge to advance industrial projects through a free flow of information.