The Canadian government will invest C$18.5 million to improve trucking operations at the Port of Montreal, and alleviate the congestion accompanying record volumes of cargo.
The investment, equivalent to nearly US$14 million, will fund a digital logistics system, a bridge, electronic signs and an “intelligent communications network.”
In an August 12 statement, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said, “Upgrades to the port infrastructure will ensure that Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient. The investment at the Port will also help reduce congestion and truck traffic in and around its various terminals.”
The improvements are designed to increase efficiency for the 2,500 trucks that access Canada’s second-largest port daily.
Montreal has already dramatically cut down truck processing times in an effort to reduce congestion, taking measures that include extending gate hours. The port processed trucks in 47 minutes on average during during the first seven months of 2019, seven minutes less than the same period of 2018.
Montreal hit 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2018 – the fifth consecutive year of record cargo growth. The port benefits from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union.
The investment in Montreal is part of a larger effort by the federal government to improve international trade flows. The government announced more than C$40 million in funding to that end during the past week.
The new funding includes C$20 million to boost rail capacity in Abbotsford, British Columbia, which will benefit the Port of Vancouver, and C$12.4 million to improve infrastructure at Grand Hills Railway in Saskatchewan.
Transport Canada also providing nearly C$4.8 million of funding for the Port of Johnstown in Ontario to upgrade its grain facilities.