Ottawa invests $8M in CanEst Transit in the Port of Montreal

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Ottawa is investing $8M in CanEst Transit, in the Port of Montreal

An investment of nearly $8 million is granted by Ottawa to CanEst Transit, in the Port of Montreal.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced on Wednesday an investment of almost $8 million to improve CanEst Transit's infrastructure, which will allow the company to double the volume of its container grain exports through the Port of Montreal.

For its part, the company will invest 10 million in the project, for a total of 18 million.

This is another step to improve supply chain efficiency, Minister Alghabra said at a press conference in Montreal.

This investment will double the capacity of the CanEst Transit plant and diversify the service offer of this company, which specializes in the cleaning and containerization of agricultural products .

CanEst Transit's facilities in the Port of Montreal have been improved in recent years. Despite everything, they are not enough to meet the demand, explained Marc-Aurèle Clapperton, general manager of the company.

“This project will allow us to increase our annual handling volume from 400,000 metric tons to more than 800,000 metric tons of agricultural products here at the Montreal elevator. »

— Marc-Aurèle Clapperton, CEO of CanEst Transit

More than 35,000 containers can be shipped per year, more than double current exports.

The investment will allow the company to create an additional 50 full-time jobs at the plant and in its transportation division.

Last year, Canadian grain exports from these facilities totaled 300,000 tonnes, said Martin Imbleau, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). They go everywhere on the planet: to China, Vietnam, or Indonesia.

The conflict in Ukraine leads us to reflect on the importance that Canadian cereals and grains can have on the international stage, Mr. Imbleau added.

Exports made by CanEst Transit consist of about a hundred products: Canadian lentils with or without GMOs, soybeans of different types, peas, flax, wheat… All stored in 91 different silos.

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CanEst Transit is not the only one busy in the Port of Montreal; other cereal activities are carried out there, specified Mr. Imbleau.

Although the Port of Montreal has experienced less congestion than other Canadian or American port facilities, infrastructure must still be improved to streamline supply chains, insists the CEO of APM.

Because over the past two years, the Port of Montreal has experienced two completely opposite crises in quick succession.

In 2021, the crisis was due to a lack of production and containers that were in the wrong place at the wrong time, described Martin Imbleau. In 2022, the warehouses filled up and at the retailers, at the port and in the production sites, it was also full.

These crises affected quite severely supply chains.

More infrastructure is required and that is why the Port of Montreal intends to work relentlessly to carry out its expansion project on the South Shore, in Contrecœur, concluded Martin Imbleau. The international qualification call to carry out this expansion project closed last May.

The future Contrecoeur container terminal will be able to accommodate two cargo ships at a time. It will be built one kilometer upstream from the bulk terminal, on the edge of Verchères.

These disruptions in the supply chain are not unique to Montreal. A national task force said last week that Canada's transportation supply chain is nearing breaking point.

To address this, government and industry must act urgently to reduce congestion at ports, address labor shortages and protect border crossings and other key points from disruption.

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