The Québec Port Authority (QPA) announced earlier this month its plan to build a container 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 future Port’s development. After multiple technical and commercial studies, the QPA has come to the conclusion that building a container terminal at the Beauport 2020 site is the best way to leverage this space. For the Québec City area and all along the St. Lawrence, this promising project could potentially create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centers, 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 meters and full intermodality, Québec City has a distinctive advantage in the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes Trade Corridor.
Mr. Girard pointed out that the opening of the new 15-meter-deep Panama Canal in 2016 and the emergence of next-generation ships requiring deep-water ports is completely changing the landscape of commercial shipping. This new 15-meter standard makes it harder for the St. Lawrence, as it currently stands, to compete with American ports in the container market.
With its unique features, the Port of Québec has what it takes to build a container terminal that offers a competitive alternative in the St. Lawrence. The Port of Québec’s proximity to the big St. Lawrence–Great Lakes market, with its over 110 million consumers, makes it the perfect location for a container terminal.
The economy is changing, and global traffic is rising
The ever-evolving dynamics of the global economy, emerging new markets, and shipping industry growth all illustrate just how important it is for Québec City to quickly adapt to the new landscape. Québec City must get on board and leverage 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 U.S. manufacturing industry.
“We’ve got a tremendous opportunity here and we have all we need to succeed,” said Mario Girard. “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.”
“Québec is a city whose history and development are closely tied to maritime economic activity,” said Québec City mayor Régis Labeaume in comments on Beauport 2020. “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 U.S. ports and to make the Port of Québec Europe’s gateway to trade in North America."
Here is a summary of the key aspects of the Beauport container terminal project:
- $400 million investment
- 610-meter extension of the wharf line
- Development of 17-hectare area behind the wharf
- Link-up with existing rail and road networks
The Québec Port Authority is an autonomous federal agency constituted under the Canada Maritime Act. The ships that pass through the Port are central to a supply chain that transports approximately $20 billion in goods each year. The Port of Québec is a maritime hub that generates over 8,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Québec City area according to the latest KPMG/SECOR study.
Source: Port of Québec