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            september 23, 2019

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Hutchison signs Quebec City box terminal deal with Canadian National


The Quebec Port Authority (QPA) has announced the signing of a long-term commercial agreement with Hong Kong's Hutchison Ports and Canadian National Railway to build and operate a CAD775 million (US$573 million) container terminal, known as project Laurentia, and before that Beauport.
The Hong Kong-based global port operator sees the terminal as its "gateway to the east coast of North America," said Hutchison Ports managing director Eric Ip, reported the American Journal of Transportation.
"With its fully intermodal deep-water port, its strategic location to reach the Midwest market, and the strong support shown by the local authorities, the Quebec project has all the attributes to be successful in this highly important market," Mr Ip said.
The port plans to begin construction of a 500,000-TEU capacity terminal by 2020 that would be operational by 2024-2025. This would mark the return of the Port of Quebec to a cargo sector it lost in the 1980s after CP Ships, later acquired by Hapag-Lloyd, diverted its North Atlantic container service to Montreal.
Today, Quebec handles some 27 million tonnes of bulk and breakbulk cargo.
Said Quebec port manager Mario Girard: "Allowing the St Lawrence to gain additional growth and competitiveness with US ports on the east coast that have expanded capacities to accommodate the new generation of large container vessels."
The project is widely seen as a challenge to the longstanding dominance of the Port of Montreal, which can only handle 5,000-TEUers fully loaded while Quebec City's 15-metre draft can handle 10,000-TUers.
But shipping consultant Brian Slack discounts the supposed draft advantage. "You are typically bringing 4,000 TEU in and taking 4,000 TEU out. That is as good as it gets at any US east coast port where vessels make multiple stops."

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