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First containers leave Hamilton Port for Montreal and overseas

First containers leave Hamilton Port for Montreal and overseas

Almost 300 containers were loaded onto the M/V Sedna Desgagnés at the Port of Hamilton, as part of a new short sea shipping service launched by Hamilton Container Terminal (HCT) in  collaboration with Desgagnés. Bound for the Port of Montreal, this new container service was developed by HCT, in partnership with the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports), Desgagnes, Federal Marine Terminals and the Port of Montreal.

“A Great Lakes container service has been a goal for our organization since we set up shop in Hamilton six years ago,” said HCT President Amandeep Kaloti. “We are thrilled to see this initiative come to life with the help of our partners at HOPA, Desgagnés and FMT.”

‘Short Sea Shipping’ refers to city-to-city container shipments using the Great Lakes as a marine-highway alternative to road-based transportation. This marine alternative has a number of advantages, chiefly a 500 per cent lower carbon footprint, along with the ability to by-pass congested southern Ontario highways. Every day, more than 10,000 trucks move goods between the GTHA and Montreal. This service proves the potential to accommodate some of that traffic on a greener, less-congested water route. Upon arrival at the Port of Montreal, most of the containers will be transloaded onto oceangoing vessels, destined for overseas markets in Europe, India and the Middle East.

The service feeds Canadian export markets for products such as steel, agricultural products and lumber. HCT also sees significant opportunity in ‘flexibags’, a fillable insert that allows the transport of liquid commodities by container, potentially enabling exports of Canadian goods like edible oils and Ontario wine.

“As we put the pandemic behind us and begin to focus on growing our economy and trade, this service could not be starting at a better time,” said Ian Hamilton, President & CEO of HOPA Ports. “There is an appetite to consider new solutions that help us build back smarter, greener, and more efficiently. Short sea shipping on the Great Lakes has been talked about for a long time, but a number of factors have aligned now to make it work.”

This shipment is the first of what is expected to be an increasingly frequent service for container movements on the Great Lakes. This trip will be followed by other Hamilton-Montreal voyages later this year, building up to 20+ sailings in 2022. By opting to move freight originating in the GTHA through our waterways, HCT’s customers will be choosing a cost-effective, efficient and more sustainable solution than truck travel to get their goods to distant markets.

To learn more about the service, and plan a future booking, please contact HCT (Director Commercial), Sanjeev Saraf at

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