By Ira Breskin

Canada’s loss, in terms of significant export shipments generated by a major Quebec-based pulp producer, is Port of New York and New Jersey (PONY)’s gain.

Tembec Inc. of Montreal, a major forest products company, recently has significantly increased shipments of pulp produced at its Temiscaming, Quebec, operations through Port of New York and New Jersey, a senior port official reported last month. Seemingly those shipments originally were routed through Port Metro Vancouver. Tembec officials declined to provide details. PONY was chosen as the embarkation port because carriers serving it provide frequent, low-cost backhaul service to Tembec customers primarily in Asia, but also India. Canadian Pacific/CSX railroads apparently haul Tembec cargo in bulk to Maher Terminal, one of PONY’s four marine terminals, where it is loaded into 40-foot containers. In fact, PONY’s ready surplus of outbound containers contributed to Tembec choosing this outbound port, said a senior port official.

These shipments are among the 650,000 tonnes of related products, equivalent to 26,000 FEUs, that Tembec exports annually to customers outside of North America, according to the company’s November 2011 presentation at the port of Montreal. The company also exported 350,000 tonnes of breakbulk cargo that year, it said.

In 2011, Tembec’s $770 million pulp and chemical products sales represented about 30 per cent of the company’s consolidated revenues, about two-thirds of which were generated from sales outside North America.

Tembec may have chosen not to ship product through the nearby Port of Montreal, in part, because of a paucity of warehouse and container loading facilities, something port officials say they are addressing. However, Tembec does ship containerized cargo from Montreal to customers in the European Union.