One way in which the Port of Montreal is reaching out to shipping lines and freight forwarders is though its new B2B (business-to-business) platform, part of a rebranding campaign that promotes the Port’s advantages for ‘Trading with the World.’

The B2B platform, available at , makes it fast and simple for potential new customers to learn about the Port’s distinct advantages when it comes to moving cargo worldwide.

“We’ve specifically targeted this platform to freight forwarders and maritime companies so that they can immediately find the necessary facts and contacts to do business with us,” said Yves Gilson, Marketing Manager for the Montreal Port Authority. “The platform enables potential users to quickly and easily find out about the Port and what we can specifically offer them.”

The ‘Why Montreal’ platform initially asks two straightforward questions:

1. Where are you located? (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Mediterranean or North America); and

2. What are you shipping? (Containerized cargo or bulk products).

Based on the responses, the potential user is presented with the Port’s distinct advantages in terms of market reach, transit times, handling capacity, etc. “About 80 per cent of the advantages are common to all users, but approximately 20 per cent differs according to geographic location and/or the type of cargo being transported,” Mr. Gilson said.

The platform is progressively being linked to an electronic banner ad campaign within online publications that specialize in maritime trade. “One click on the banner takes the potential user directly to our two key questions and subsequently to the relevant information,” Mr. Gilson said. “We also have online links to all of our representatives abroad, as well as our people at the Port responsible for developing new business.”

By tracking the click through traffic generated by the banner ads to the new B2B platform, as well as responses to the two key questions, the Port will be able to determine where best to put its future outreach efforts.

‘Why Montreal’ is part of a rebranding campaign that emphasizes the Port’s advantages in ‘Trading with the World.’ The campaign includes targeted E-blasts, a new Port of Montreal video as well as a series of print ads that emphasize the Port’s perfect location in relation to the Canada-EU free trade agreement, its competitive position on the trade lane with South Asia and its proximity to the U.S. Midwest market.