The Port of Montreal has taken action to adapt to the exceptional circumstances of the past 18 months and fulfil its crucial role as an essential partner in and key contributor to the recovery.

“At a time when everyone has been hit hard by this unprecedented wave, we offer our full solidarity and support to our colleagues and partners,” said Martin Imbleau, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). “We are working diligently to stimulate international trade, advance our infrastructure projects and pursue our innovation strategies to optimize traffic and ensure fluidity.”

With regard to traffic optimization and fluidity, the port is building an overpass in the Viau Terminal sector. This new road link between Viau Terminal and Assomption Blvd. through to the highway network will reduce truck traffic on Notre-Dame St., a major Montreal thoroughfare, remove a significant number of trucks from the local network, improve road accessibility to the port and ensure a continuous movement of containers to and from terminals. Some 2,500 trucks transit through the port’s facilities every day.

Phase 1 the project runs from June to December. Phase 2 is set for April to December 2022, when the overpass is scheduled to open.

Meanwhile, the redevelopment of Bickerdike Terminal is now complete. The project to optimize facilities at the terminal, built in 1896, included the redevelopment of truck access to improve traffic flow and security; an increase and upgrade of the electrical capacity; the replacement of buildings; and the redevelopment of container and cargo storage areas and handling areas for cruise ships.

Bickerdike Terminal serves ships carrying provisions bound for Newfoundland and the Magdalen Islands. Every year it handles close to 600,000 tonnes of diversified goods such as containers, cars and trucks, and welcomes cruise vessels sailing to the Magdalen Islands.

Phase 1 of the port’s rail capacity expansion project, which will increase rail freight capacity, began in July between Sections 39 and 44 and will run to November. The port’s rail network currently has close to 100 km of track serving 14 terminals. Each year it transports 2,500 km of railcars. Project works include the installation of 6 km of additional railway tracks and switches, complementary work to develop the internal rail network and relocation of the Port Road.

Phase 2 (Sections 32 to 39) will occur between May and November 2022 and Phase 3 (Sections 24 to 32) is scheduled for May-November 2023.

To strengthen its strategic position as the North American gateway to the Asian container market, the MPA has renewed for five more years its 2018 cooperation agreement with the Adani Group. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited is a leading player in India’s transportation logistics industry. It operates, among others, Mundra Port, India’s largest commercial port. Like the Port of Montreal, Mundra Port is a diversified port that handles liquid and dry bulk cargo and more than five million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) annually, and welcomes major international shipping lines such as CMA CGM, COSCO SHIPPING Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, MSC and OOCL. Transshipment ports in the Mediterranean provide the connection between Montreal and Mundra.

Trade between Canada and India has grown substantially in recent years. In 2020, India represented 8% of the volume of containers transiting through Montreal; this was an almost non-existent market just 10 years ago.

The new agreement consolidates the existing ties between both ports’ partner services, enhances commercial relations and continues work initiated over the years, including the search for best practices, optimization of logistics services and port facilities, and the application of new technologies to marine and intermodal transport.

Seeking innovative solutions to ease truck traffic in the vicinity of port facilities, developing green energy, planning and efficiently distributing goods in the intermodal network, sharing information on container traceability and developing port infrastructures are among the areas of interest that both port authorities share.

With trade between the Port of Montreal and Europe in constant growth, the Port of Montreal has signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the Port of Marseille Fos, charting the way for a new business partnership and the creation of synergies in several areas, including trade and innovation.

Cooperative exchanges developed between both ports and the interests, values and visions shared by the two port authorities guided the development of the agreement. Commonalities include the growth of the container sector and related infrastructure projects. The agreement will also strengthen current trade between the ports and well as the ties forged between their services and partners.

The agreement focuses on six areas of cooperation: trade between the two organizations; innovation and the pooling of know-how; public affairs (sharing best practices in communication and community relations); information technologies (sharing best practices in data exchange and concrete efforts on common issues); sustainable development and energy transition to ensure sustainable management of port spaces and better project acceptability; and strategic growth partnerships.