Port Windsor has new leadership following the retirement of David Cree, after a proud and successful 33-year career. Steve Salmons, with more that 25-years experience in senior management roles in municipalities, provincial government, and banking, is the new President and CEO effective May 1, 2018.
The Port of Windsor has rebounded from the setback of 2016 when total tonnage handled, dropped from the previous year. In 2017, volume returned to the 5 million-plus tonne thresholds, a 6.5 per cent increase, largely due to increased salt and grain shipments. We expect to meet or exceed those volumes again in 2018.
The federal government’s Port Modernization Review, and the construction start of the new Gordie Howe Bride, will dominate 2018/19.
The Review provides an opportunity for Ports, and particularly Windsor, to argue for greater opportunity to act beyond the water’s edge and capitalize on the growing demand for multi-modal logistic hubs. Poised on the busiest border crossing in North America, Windsor needs to take hold of the nexus of road, rail and water transportation systems to attract and expand on economic opportunity. The Review must also empower Ports to access greater borrowing capacity to not only improve and expand our facilities, but to also leverage investments by our partners.
Each day, 12,000 trucks cross between Windsor and Detroit, each year more than 5 million tonnes of product is delivered by ship, and several times per hour rail cars rumble through the international underwater rail tunnel. This volume of activity, this concentration of transportation options, and the location of Windsor in the centre of the Great Lakes uniquely positions Windsor to be the Port of Preference for the movement and distribution of goods and products in the Great lakes Basin, and beyond. Working with the University of Windsor’ Cross Border Institute for Transportation, Port Windsor will provide a leadership role in seeing this model developed into an economic model that ensures efficiency, choice and long-term sustainability.
In the near term, Port Windsor is ready and capable of handling the anticipated volumes of steel, concrete and granular to build North America’s longest cable stay bride. Opportunity for shipping, material handling, and logistics are abundant.
But the real challenge will be long-term sustainability, not short term burst of construction activity and the demands that will place on the Port.
Ultimately, the need for Just-in time delivery and evolving Block Chain tracking systems will not only make us more efficient, but more responsive to our customers. Ultimately, we become more competitive, and that should always be our goal.