St. Lawrence ports collaborating to boost competitiveness

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The Port Authorities of Montréal, Québec and Trois-Rivières are creating a working group to identify and facilitate the implementation of joint initiatives.

The working group will explore potential collaboration that might improve the competitiveness of the St. Lawrence corridor, such as the connection between the ports and the freight and train transport networks, the exchange of expertise, or the compatibility of technological systems.

“More than 80 percent of trade worldwide is done by ship and the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes axis is Canada’s most important trade corridor. Our infrastructures are vital to our economy, with major importance along the St. Lawrence, but of minor importance when it comes to global supply chains. With this new relationship, we want to develop some of the most sustainable and eco-responsible logistics and supply chains globally and interprovincially,” said Mario Girard, president and CEO of the Quebec Port Authority.

Canada Marine Act update

The ports also believe that because the federal government has announced its intention to modernize the Canada Marine Act, the act that governs Canadian Port Authorities’ operations, the working group’s conclusions could also be used to inform Transport Canada’s work.

The agreement between these three ports on the St. Lawrence River is motivated by strategic, environmental, and economic factors. The three ports combined annually handle approximately 72.4 million tons of general cargo, containers, non-containerized general cargo, and solid and liquid bulk.

“Global supply chains are being restructured. Shipping lines and import-export stakeholders are looking for the best routes at the best cost and want to accelerate the decarbonization of maritime transport. There are opportunities for our ports and for our economy,” said Martin Imbleau, president and CEO of the Montréal Port Authority.

From west to east over 250 km of waterway, the ports of Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec have a lot in common. They are jointly responsible for the safe operation of traffic on one world’s most significant rivers. They serve intersecting economic and social ecosystems; they rely on complementary intermodal platforms and often have the same maritime partners.

“What facilitates collaboration is our complementarity. The ports of Montréal, Québec and Trois-Rivières each have their own expertise and specific roles in the supply chain. Increasing our collaboration will create synergies that will benefit the customers we serve and the communities in which we operate,” said Gaétan Boivin, president and CEO of the Trois-Rivières Port Authority.