ACPA honours Alphonse Bélanger with Medal of Merit Award

Alphonse Bélanger, Executive Vice-President, Quebec Stevedoring Ltd., one of Canada’s leading voices in the shipping industry was honoured by the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) with the Medal of Merit award.

Mr. Bélanger has worked in the maritime sector for more than 40 years. He joined Quebec Stevedoring in 1982 and has been a major contributor to the success of the company, which is well known throughout the maritime community. As Executive Vice-President he is closely involved in the development and management of the company’s various business lines. He has participated in numerous collective bargaining rounds over the years. Today, he mentors collective bargaining officials, who reap the benefit of his experience and sage advice. Mr. Bélanger is considered to be second to none in his ability to source key employees and to build strong and dependable work teams.

The Medal of Merit award was presented at ACPA’s 56th Conference in recognition of outstanding work or service, preferably of national impact, by an individual, institution or organization in the port, shipping and maritime transportation fields.

The Association has awarded the Medal of Merit annually since 1975. Past recipients include Madeleine Paquin, President and CEO of Logistec Corporation; the Hon. David Collenette, former Minister of Transport; Michel Pouliot, President of the Canadian Marine Pilots Association; Jack Leitch, Chair of Upper Lakes Group; Blair McKeil, Chair and CEO of McKeil Marine and the late Captain Al Soppitt, former President and CEO of Port of Saint John.

Port of Thunder Bay sustains large grain volumes

Strong grain shipments continue to make waves in the Port of Thunder Bay. Nearly 1.1 million tonnes of Western Canadian grain were shipped through the port in August, tripling the performance during the same month last year. For the fourth consecutive month grain throughput hit a monthly 17-year high. The port is now en route to its strongest year overall since 1997.

The port has been playing an instrumental role in clearing a backlog of grain that formed due to a combination of factors including a record Western Canadian grain harvest in 2013 and a severe, prolonged winter that hampered rail shipping. Thunder Bay and the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System are gaining international attention as a competitive, sustainable route for transporting increasing volumes of grain to markets in Europe, North Africa and Latin America. With the 2014 grain crop expected to begin hitting the market in the next few weeks, strong shipments are expected to continue for the duration of the season.

Port elevators handle over a dozen grain types that are loaded onto Canadian Lakers and Foreign Salties and transported to ports domestically and around the world. This year Salty loadings are proportionately higher than usual. 27 percent of all grain shipments (1.2 million tonnes) have been loaded onto Salties for direct international shipment, compared to a five-year average of 15 percent. As a result, the number of Salty calls to the port has doubled year-to-date.

News that CSAV is the least profitable boxline overshadows Hapag-Lloyd merger

By Mike Wackett

The scale of the challenge facing Hapag-Lloyd’s management team overseeing the integration of CSAV has been underlined by new research from Alphaliner which shows that the Chilean carrier was the least profitable shipping line in the first half of this year. Alphaliner surveyed 17 carriers that had delivered first-half results, and CSAV came bottom, with a negative operating margin of -7.8 per cent, compared with an industry average of -0.5 per cent.

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Port of Montreal innovates in land re-use project

Last fall, on the Viau sector work site, the soil encapsulation mobile factory did not pass unnoticed. As high as four containers, it swallowed up the crushed soils and mixed them with cement, to produce a thick, malleable material that was spread on the bottom of the excavated ground.

The aim of the operation was to solidify this area that covers close to nine hectares so it could accommodate containers. To be able to withstand the weight of containers piled three to four deep along with lifting equipment and trucks, the ground must be extremely stable. However, the ground in the Viau sector was too soft to solidify simply by compacting it. Normally, 44,000 metric tonnes of poor soil would have been extracted, and replaced with a noble soil made mainly of crushed stone that we would have brought in from a quarry.

Instead, Port of Montreal turned to soil encapsulation, which made it possible to re-use the 44,000 tonnes of extracted inferior soil by mixing it with cement to give it the necessary weight-carrying capacity, and returning it to where it had been excavated from.

By doing so, the Port saved a minimum of 170 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding trips that would otherwise have been made to quarries and landfill sites.

CMA CGM mulls its next move after rate hike failure means Q2 profit underwhelms

By Mike Wackett

French ocean carrier CMA CGM has posted a modest net profit for the second quarter of the year. Unceremoniously left at the altar by Maersk Line and MSC when the trio’s P3 aspirations were scuttled in June, CMA CGM gave no clues to future alliance plans in its interim statement – in fact the subject was ignored.

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