The Canadian government has given C$18.5 million (US$13.9 million) to the Port of Montreal to help onboard drayage drivers faster, speed truck turn times, and give operators a better sense of when marine terminal gates will be busiest.
The investment adds momentum to the port’s efforts to improve truck fluidity following high-single-digit growth last year that has since moderated to mid-single-digit gains. By extending gate hours, hiring more longshore workers, publicizing efficiency metrics on its website, and pushing for port stakeholders to collaborate more closely, Montreal has been able to better manage the volume growth.
The funding from Transport Canada will go toward an IT system allowing truckers to register to serve the port, the construction of a railway bridge that will remove truck delays due to the crossings of longer trains, and electronic signs giving real-time cargo flow information to truckers. The funding will also help with the creation of a communication system utilizing artificial intelligence to better predict wait times at marine terminals, enabling truckers to get more port truck turns daily.
Separately, Canada Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced C$600,000 in funding for the University of Montreal to study the impact of climate change on port infrastructure and develop a plan to mitigate such pressures.