Port of Montreal Outing

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Yesterday I went with the Import/Export class to the Port of Montreal.  This was our last outing in class to receive a first-hand experience of the importing/exporting business that goes on in the real world.  We took the green line of the metro until we hit our destination.  After a short cab ride to the port, we were greeted by security guards inside a tiny building.  Each of us presented our Passport as way of proper identification for the security.  Our tour guide led us into the conference room to give a presentation of the Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership.  All of the shipping is controlled through a special software program called SPARCS.  At the Port of Montreal, every boat coming into the port is either loading or unloading cargoes of a certain product.  The cargoes are shipped continuously to various locations such as Chicago, California, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, and other important destinations.  Each cargo loaded onto the ship provides information on the equipment identification, category, status, and the code book release.  SPARCS does not necessarily need the cargo name, but the weight of the products is needed.  Each crane in the port is operated by the Quay Commander.  Quay Commanders control what cranes will operate on that day and time.  Each crane works in a timely manner to ensure that each cargo is loading or unloading in the correct time.  In the past, severe weather has affected the importing and exporting conditions at the Port of Montreal.  Severe weather happens every so often and it is a small setback for the employees. 


After our presentation was over, we were escorted to a small school bus to enter the restricted access.  The restricted access was where the shipment work occurs on a daily basis.  No one is allowed to freely roam around the shipping area because the employees cannot have any distractions in the area while completing their tasks.  Near the unloaded docks, there were employees in yellow hard hats completing the required checklists.  Each unloaded cargo must follow the checklist to ensure that there are no damages to anything inside.  For better transportation around the cargo area, each of the small trucks contains strong rubber tires.  One of the interesting sights to see was the crane positioning the cargo load onto the truck.  When an employee is loading a cargo onto a truck, there is always a wingman to direct the cargo meticulously onto the back of the truck.  Having that wingman is great for ensuring that the cargo fits perfectly onto the back of the truck.  Once the cargo is locked within the back of the truck, the product is then delivered to its destination where the product is unloaded.  We all exited off the bus and called it a day here at the Port of Montreal.  This may have been the last outing for the Import/Export class, but it certainly was a wonderful experience to understand how the importing and exporting business happens on the port.

  Written by Jonathan Carey, majoring in Management of Creative Media with emphasis in Game Production