Friday, December 15, 2017

New Container Freight Terminal to be Constructed in Canadian Port as European Trade Gateway

St Lawrence Corridor Extends its Handling Capabilities to Compete with US Facilities
Shipping News Feature
CANADA – The Québec Port Authority (QPA) has announced plans to build a container freight terminal at the site of the Beauport 2020 project. This initiative, part of the Beauport 2020 expansion project, is the culmination of a lengthy process by the QPA to identify economic niches with the highest potential for the Port's future development, in an attempt to better compete ports against in the US.

The port authority says that the project will benefit both the Québec City area and all along the St. Lawrence river region, with the potential to create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centres, and new businesses. In a speech to the Québec City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Port President and CEO Mario Girard stressed that the Port of Québec has all the strategic advantages needed to carry out this major project. With its water depth of 15 metres and full intermodality, Québec City has a distinctive advantage in the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes Trade Corridor.

Girard pointed out that the opening of the new 15-metre-deep Panama Canal in 2016 and the emergence of next-generation ships requiring ever deeper facilities is completely changing the landscape of commercial shipping. The new 15-metre standard makes it harder for the St. Lawrence, as it currently stands, to compete with American ports in the container market. Girard commented:

“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity here and we have all we need to succeed. Our vision is simple and strategic: make Québec City a hub for maritime logistics on the continent. We’ll succeed by rallying around this promising project. And in this vein, I’m reaching out to all stakeholders in the St. Lawrence so we can all work together to promote the St. Lawrence. More than ever, we must join forces to make the St. Lawrence more competitive.”

Extolling the virtues of Québec City with its ‘strategic geographic location’ on the shortest route between Europe and the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes region, which is home to over 40% of the US manufacturing industry. Québec City mayor Régis Labeaume, said:

“Québec is a city whose history and development are closely tied to maritime economic activity. Developing the Port of Québec and improving the existing facilities are priorities for the region. Building a container terminal as part of the Beauport 2020 expansion project will have a major impact on the economy by creating a new continental deep-water logistics hub, which will be a major asset for the Port.

”The governments of Québec and Canada must offer their unmitigated support for the project so that Québec and Eastern Canada can compete with big US ports and to make the Port of Québec Europe’s gateway to trade in North America.”

Photo: The port has formidable bulk transfer capabilities. Last year saw the Hubertus Oldendorff, the biggest ship ever to dock at Québec, offload 143,000 tonnes of iron ore, breaking its previous record.