Logistics jobs in Montreal climb 24 percent

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by Emily Atkins

Between 2012 and 2021 the number of people working in Montreal’s transport and logistics sector increased 24 percent, growing from 43,700 to 54,100.

At the same time, the number of companies in the sector declined from 6,297 to 6,089.

These are the top line results of a study produced by consulting firm KPMG for CargoM, the Logistics and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montreal. The study was first carried out in 2013-2014 using data then available on the various transportation segments of road, marine, rail and air to profile the industry. It served as the foundation for the work and projects of the newly formed cluster organization.

The added value generated by the logistics and freight transport sector in Greater Montreal is now $8.7 billion compared to $4 billion in 2012. (CNW Group/Metropolitan Cluster of logistics and transportation in Montreal)

Since then, the economic and social context in which the industry operates has greatly changed. Industry players are facing many challenges in a post-pandemic inflationary environment that is putting pressure on global supply chains. The scarcity of labour and the road infrastructure maintenance are adding further pressures on our sector.

The sector, however, continues to play a significant role in the economy. The added value generated by the industry in Greater Montreal is now $8.7 billion compared to $4 billion in 2012.

“Although the number of companies in Greater Montreal between 2012 and 2021 decreased, the total number of jobs in transportation and warehousing increased by nearly 24 percent,” said CargoM executive director Mathieu Charbonneau.

“In terms of indirect jobs, namely the role of logistics at manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, we can factor in about 75,000 additional jobs, for a total of close to 130,000 jobs in Greater Montreal. Many companies are facing a shortage of personnel, and this figure would undoubtedly be higher without the current labour shortage.”

Marine cargo shipping in Greater Montreal has grown substantially over the past ten years, up 19 percent from 2011 to hit 34 million tonnes in 2021. The container sector in particular is enjoying strong growth, with the Port of Montreal posting a 15 percent increase between January 2021 and September 2022.

All types of cargo are handled in Greater Montreal, namely liquid bulk (notably petroleum products, which account for 33 percent of volumes), dry bulk, grain and non-containerized cargo, as well as the container sector, which accounts for 42 percent of total marine traffic. These containers come from or are exported to the whole world, with Northern Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean basin in the lead (34 percent, 26 percent and 20 percent of containerized traffic respectively). They contain mostly food, forestry and metal products, as well as grains and cereals.

“The Port is getting close to its full container handling capacity, which is why we are planning our major expansion project in ContrecĹ“ur,” said Martin Imbleau, chair of the CargoM board of directors and president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority.

“The Port of Montreal is at the heart of a high-performance logistics chain and a first-class intermodal network that not only connect Greater Montreal to over 140 countries around the world, but also supply consumer goods and raw materials to the population and businesses at large.”