Chair and CEO Message

A History with a Future

Message from the Chair of the Board of Directors and the President and Chief Executive Officer

Marie-Claude Boisvert

Chair of the Board of Directors

Sylvie Vachon

President and Chief Executive Officer

In 2017, the Port of Montreal recorded an increase in the volume of cargo handled in every sector: containerized and non-containerized goods, liquid bulk and dry bulk. Even the cruise sector kept expanding. Naturally, this growth has positive impacts on Quebec’s economy, especially in the metropolitan area. We are proud of this contribution to our community.

In 2017, on the occasion of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, we celebrated the fact that the Port of Montreal is one of the city’s major founding elements.  The city was built around marine activity on the banks of the majestic St. Lawrence River, the very first information and transportation highway.

This means that the neighbourliness between the city and its port has been part of their shared history from the start. The fact that our territory is embedded in the city obliged us early on to be innovative in order to increase our handling capacity and our competitiveness. Maximizing the territory’s productivity was vital. This is what led to the creation of the Montreal Model, an ingenious intermodal ballet involving vessels, trains and trucks, recognized around the world as a global benchmark. In short, creativity is in our DNA.

A smart port

No wonder, then, that to secure our future, we count on innovation. It is at the heart of our strategic plan. True to its past, the Port of Montreal is now positioned as an innovative smart port. Innovation remains one of our most important differentiating tools, enabling us to stand out on the world stage.   

In 2017, we made huge strides thanks to this strategy. For one thing, we implemented the Truck PORTal, an application that helps improve the flow of traffic and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on our territory. This annual report highlights many other actions inspired by our commitment to be part of the select group of smart ports. 

Choosing this direction earned us a great invitation to join chainPORT, a group of about 10 international ports that share strategic information and best practices in the use of advanced technologies.  

Linkages, collaboration and pooling

As we know, a smart port cannot succeed on its own. Technologies are evolving at a frenetic pace with a multitude of new tools being introduced. This calls for the vigilant awareness of a solid in-house team of strategic information specialists who are themselves connected to other teams around the world. More than ever, we rely on linkages, collaboration and the pooling of strengths and resources. The Port of Montreal is present in strategic networks at the international level. It is just as present with its partners here, as demonstrated by its involvement in CargoM, the Logistics and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montreal.

In today’s world, this search for solutions on the cutting edge must factor in the principles of sustainable development. For many years now, we have integrated into our decision-making process the concepts of respect for the environment and good corporate citizenship. A proud founding member of Green Marine, we stepped up our initiatives in 2017 even further to support our community and act as a responsible organization. You will find more on this issue in our Summary Report of Achievements in Sustainable Development.

Container traffic

From a business point of view, the Port’s economic future largely depends on its ability to support the growth of container traffic. In 2017, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first container that went through the Port of Montreal. In other words, container handling has been deeply integrated for a long time in our port operations. That’s good, because this segment of the shipping industry keeps growing.

To make the most of this growth, the Port opened a new container terminal, Viau Terminal. Already, we are looking even further ahead with our project to develop another container terminal at Contrecoeur, which would start operating as soon as our container-handling capacity is saturated on our territory on the Island of Montreal.

As you will see in this annual report, the Port of Montreal has enjoyed a year full of initiatives and results, and it is all set to meet the challenges ahead with flying colours, even more so now that we have a full Board of Directors, with all of the positions being filled in 2017. We are proud of the fact that women now hold more than 50% of these positions.

We would like to thank our partners, the governments, our clients, our employees and port workers for their support and commitment. Port activities and the transport logistics chain call for team spirit and the pooling of individual strengths. Our fine results are also yours. Thank you!

Signature Marie-Claude Boisvert

Marie-Claude Boisvert

Chair of the Board of Directors

Signature Sylvie Vachon

Sylvie Vachon

President and Chief Executive Officer