Inside Logistics

CanEst Transit inaugurates cleaning and containerization terminal for agricultural products

October 20, 2014

MONTREAL, Que.– CanEst Transit today officially opened its new cleaning and containerization terminal for agricultural products, located directly on Port of Montreal territory.

CanEst Transit invested $20 million, primarily in the purchase of modern equipment to handle and load agricultural products. The Montreal Port Authority invested $4 million in the project to improve the building as well as road and rail access, said a release. 

Completely renovated, the 91 silos with a total capacity of 68,000 tonnes are used to store and transship agricultural products. These products are then cleaned and placed in containers for export.

“The fact that CanEst Transit is on port territory, right beside container terminals, lets us offer our customers fast, competitive service and great operating flexibility,” stated CanEst Transit president Pierre Dagenais.

CanEst Transit can fill eight containers per hour, the company said. 

Converting the former grain elevator into a containerization operation for agricultural products created about 100 direct jobs during the construction period. CanEst operations will initially be carried out by a team of seven people.

There is a strong trend in the agri-food industry to containerize agricultural products. According to the Seabury Group consulting firm, 12% of grain exported by sea around the world is now moved by containers. In its first year of operation, CanEst Transit expects to containerize 100,000 tonnes of grain, the equivalent of 4,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

“This project is well in line with the port authority’s commitment to develop value-added operations allowing for a diversification of activities on the port while providing the shipping lines that serve the port with additional freight volume. This is excellent news for grain producers across the country, for the Port of Montreal, for the marine industry and for the City of Montreal,” stated Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority.

For Aref Salem, the City of Montreal’s executive committee member in charge of transportation, this announcement is great news for Montreal’s economic activity: “The Port of Montreal is a catalyst for initiatives, and CanEst Transit setting up operations on its territory is an excellent example. In addition to generating direct and indirect jobs, this business strengthens Montreal’s position around the world as a leading intermodal platform. More than anything else, containerized traffic embodies the hub vocation of Montreal and CanEst Transit as one of the mission-critical cogs in the container supply chain,” he said.