Project Laurentia

Deep-water container terminal project

As the last deep-water port in the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes corridor, the Port of Québec has a long history. This bulk and transshipment port has played a key role on the route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes for decades. With the opening of the new Panama Canal, a new generation of larger ships is rapidly emerging on the Atlantic seaboard trade routes. The Port of Québec is fully equipped to effectively respond to the new shipping landscape with its container terminal project.

Top 5 canadian ports

With an average of 25 million tonnes per year, the Port of Québec maintains business partnerships with 300 ports in over 60 countries.

Graphic opportunity top five

Port of Québec capacity: 150 000 tons

Our natural 15m water depth at low tide, allows the post to welcome post-panamax and capezise class ships. This strategic advantage means that shippers having merchandise transiting through the port can benefit from economies of scales made possible by volume merchandise shipping.

A strategic location

As the last deep-water port before the Great Lakes (15 m deep at low tide), the Port of Québec is the gateway to the industrial and agricultural heart of North America.

This water depth allows for the transshipment of cargo between deep-draft vessels and smaller vessels able to travel upriver into the Great Lakes, a market serving more than 100 million people. Located in the heart of North America 1,300 kilometers from the Atlantic, the Port provides access to the large market of the U.S. Midwest.

Graphic opportunity location en

15m water depth

15m water depth at low tide—a key strategic advantage.

Graphic opportunity water depth

Complete intermodality

Every day, the Port of Québec operates a complete intermodal transportation network without any congestion.

  • Provides access to major national railway networks: CN. Provides access to regional railway networks: Québec-Gatineau and Charlevoix.
  • Provides direct access to North America’s continental road network.
Graphic opportunity modality 1 Graphic opportunity modality 2

We master winter

The Port of Québec and its terminal operate all year long, day and night. Vessels can continuously tranship their cargo and benefit from the Port of Québec’s multimodal transport network.

Graphic opportunity year

Complete maritime services

The Port of Québec offers high quality maritime and harbour services.

  • Shipping agents, customs brokers and forwarding agents
  • Inspection and classifications companies
  • Shipbuilding and ship repairs
  • CN, CP, Québec-Gatineau and Charlevoix rail networks
  • Short-and long-haul trucking
  • Water services and electricity at each dock
  • Mobile cranes with a capacity of up to 440 metric tonnes
  • Multiple tugs providing up to 6.500 b.h.p.
  • Bunkering
  • Marine engineering, refloating, wreckage retrieval
  • 1.000 ships per year
  • 25M tonnes transhipped per year

Canadian Coast Guard

  • Navigation assistance
  • De-icing, escort and flood-prevention services
  • Communications and marine traffic services
  • Search and rescue
  • Environmental action
  • Shipping fleets, hovercraft and helicopters

Corporations of Lower St. Lawrence and Central St. Lawrence Pilots

  • Mandatory pilotage service for vessels travelling upriver between Les Escoumins and Quebec City
  • Mandatory pilotage service for vessels travelling down river between Trois-Rivières and Quebec City

QPA harbour services

Service 24/7

Development of a deep-water container terminal

Dedicated exclusively to container transshipment, the terminal represents a new strategic offer serving the heart of America.

For the Quebec City area and the entire St. Lawrence River, this promising project could potentially create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centers, and new businesses.

Graphic opportunity layouts

Container terminal capacity


  • Ships with a capacity of more than 8K TEUs
  • 500K TEU capacity


  • 610 metres of wharf
  • 17.5 hectares of terminal land
  • 16-metre water depth at low tide


  • An intermodal network: access to rail and road networks
  • Land available nearby
Graphic opportunity terminal en

Access to the Great Lakes and Midwestern U.S. market

  • Hinterland - 103 M
  • Regional - 22.3 M
  • Local - 8.3 M
Graphic opportunity commercial

A structured project

The Port of Québec has taken a structured approach for years to ensure its project is on firm footing by enlisting specialized, internationally recognized firms to conduct exhaustive market and logistics studies.

Steps completed

  • Plan and specifications, SNC-Lavalin 2014
  • Environmental studies, Englobe (ongoing)
  • Two development opportunity studies, CPCS 2015
  • Terminal fluidity and capacity study, Advisian 2016
  • Market study, Advisian 2016
  • Commercial deployment study, Mercator 2017
  • Prefeasibility study, Stantec 2018

A responsible and sustainable project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) is responsible for conducting environmental assessments of the project. The project, which has been registered with the CEAA since August 2015, has completed multiple stages in the assessment process.

The Port is committed to the environment and sustainable development, and has already carried out more than 80 environmental studies to evaluate the container terminal project. These studies have focused on various environmental concerns, including the biological, human, and physical environment.

Biological environment

  • Terrestrial environments and vegetation
  • Wetlands, beaches, and riparian environments and vegetation
  • Terrestrial wildlife and habitats
  • Birds and their habitats

Human environment

  • Protected areas
  • Waterways
  • Health conditions
  • Drinking water
  • Visual environment and landscape
  • Natural heritage

Physical environment

  • Air quality
  • Noise environment
  • Nocturnal light environment

Growth on the St. Lawrence

With its interior-continental location, deep water, efficient road and rail connections, and logistical access to the Great Lakes, the Quebec City container terminal has what it takes to provide international shippers with a competitive offer and make Canada more competitive on the Atlantic seaboard for its export markets.

Advisory comittee

The Port has set upan advisory committee of international experts to guide itin its approach:

  • Don Krusel, former CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority
  • David Cardin, former CEO, Maersk Canada
  • Peter Ladouceur, Former Executive at CN
  • Steve Rothberg, Partner at Mercator international

International network

The container terminal project will help raise Quebec City’s profile around the world. The construction of a deep-water container terminal is part of the Port of Québec’s mission to become an international hub building on its rich maritime history. Ever-increasing ship capacities have led to major changes in maritime shipping routes and logistics. Quebec City is fully equipped to become as important a hub for container transshipment in the Great Lakes markets as it currently is for bulk shipping.

Graphic opportunity top five

Economic benefits and jobs

Container Terminal Project
Economic benefitsJob creation
$287 million2.710 jobs
Estimation of the annual economic benefits and direct, indirect and induced jobs of the container terminal project (KPMG 2017)