Opportunities in all sectors of activity

The Port of Montreal is working on projects to attract clients in all sectors of its activity, from containers, to liquid and dry bulk, to cruise.

“The projects that we are working on will add value to our activities on the whole,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority.

“Part of our business strategy is to diversify and there are real opportunities for us out there in all sectors of activity,” said Tony Boemi, Vice-President of Growth and Development at the Montreal Port Authority. “We have become much more active in terms of going out and developing business. The port is really reinventing itself in terms of the diversified cargo markets that we serve.”

Among its projects, the port is working to develop opportunities in the liquid bulk sector and specifically in petroleum products. “We have had requests from companies in this sector wanting to invest in the Port of Montreal, to set up shop in the port,” Mr. Boemi said.

The port handled close to 10 million tonnes of liquid bulk traffic in 2012, its second best year in this cargo category in at least the last 50 years. The port is looking to increase traffic in this sector by taking advantage of opportunities related to the growth of Canada’s petroleum products industry.

“If you look at all of the projects in the petroleum products industry, we should be able to considerably increase our traffic in this sector in the future,” Mr. Boemi said.

In the dry bulk sector, and grain traffic in particular, Viterra Inc. completed in 2012 its first full year as the operator of the Port of Montreal’s grain terminal. Total grain traffic through the port was up 76.3 per cent to more than 3 million tonnes in 2012, and those results bode well for the future. “Having a world-class company and international player such as Viterra operating our grain terminal will bring additional clients and volumes to the port now and into the future,” Ms. Vachon said.

Réal Bélanger, Director of Growth and Development, Bulk, at the Montreal Port Authority, is working to develop the dry and liquid bulk cargo markets for the port.

“The port benefits from a strategic geographic location and first-rate facilities that are ideal for serving clients in the bulk cargo sector,” Mr. Bélanger said.

He visits regularly with current clients to see and understand how they work and to ensure that the port is providing top-notch services. He is also on the road visiting with potential clients during one-on-one meetings and at industry-specific conferences to promote the advantages that the port can offer in this sector.

The port authority is also working to attract clients in other parts of the world. It has recently added a representative in Hong Kong to develop trade with Asia. He joins port authority representatives already in place in Europe and the United States. (See separate article in this Port Feature.)

In the cruise sector, where Montreal enjoyed a record year in 2012 by welcoming 54,752 passengers, the port is working to attract niche players and European cruise lines through its European representative and further develop the sector by attending cruise industry conferences and visiting cruise line headquarters in the U.S.