On the surface, the concept of a port seems simple; a ship comes in, unloads its cargo, perhaps takes on new cargo and then heads back out to sea.
But in this digital and technological age, ports in Canada play a much larger, more significant role. Beyond moving around cargo, ports are the heart of data management and provide expertise in logistical efficiency. Today’s ports are not what we think they are. They truly are pushing limits, which is the theme for this year’s Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) annual conference, to be hosted by the Port of Montreal next week.
"Canada’s modern ports are about so much more than just moving goods," says Wendy Zatylny, President of ACPA. "At heart, we are innovators, economic drivers, job creators, business developers and community builders."
Canadian Port Authorities handle more than 60 per cent of Canada’s waterborne cargo, worth more than $400 billion annually. This activity supports 250,000 well-paying direct and indirect jobs. For every million tonnes of new cargo moved through these ports, 300 new jobs are created.
Staged over two-and-a-half days, the ACPA Conference 2015 will examine the port industry, with in-depth panel discussions on a variety of topics, including:
Speakers slated to make presentations to delegates include Georgia Tech professor Benoit Montreuil, Port Ambassador Frank Geerkens from the Port of Antwerp, Danielle Goldfarb from the Conference Board of Canada and Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a security and intelligence specialist.
"With our own extensive network of infrastructure, the Port of Montreal is a great example of ports driving economic development and spurring investment and job creation," says Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal and host of the ACPA 2015 Conference. "We move goods, yes, but we also provide employment lands, railway lines, jobs, log information and facilitate the efficient movement of products and services – all of which supports Canadian families and our way of life."
The conference will wrap up Thursday morning with a private tour of the Port of Montreal.
The conference also includes a trade show to provide marine industry exhibitors with a unique opportunity to showcase their services and network with the delegates and executives of the ACPA membership. Accredited media are welcome to attend the Business Sessions, but must register on the website under the press-pass option.