All in the same boat
The St. Lawrence River, considered the maritime gateway to North America, is one of the world’s largest navigable waterways.
In Québec, the maritime industry is:
- 330 companies
- 23 8000 direct and indirect jobs on land and at sea (2019)
- A $2.3 billion contribution to Québec’s GDP
- And an annual $1 billion paid in salaries.
Due to its geographic location and infrastructures, Québec is well positioned compared to the rest of Canada.
- A commercial port network comprising 20 ports located throughout Québec
- A road network connected directly to the Ontario and US (Interstate) highway
- Five border crossing stations through which the majority of truck traffic to the
United States transits
- Numerous rail networks
- Three international airports, one of which is exclusively dedicated to freight.
Maritime transport on the St. Lawrence is, therefore, vital for trade between Canada and
the rest of the world and plays a crucial role in Québec’s and Canada’s economic
For further information, please consult the Maritime Information Bureau’s Economy section.
From an environmental standpoint, maritime transport is the greenest means of transport.
A ship carries as much cargo as 301 railcars and 963 trucks.
With one liter of fuel per tonne of cargo carried, a ship covers 243 km, a train, 213 km and a truck, 35 km.
The maritime industry is aware of and proactive vis-à-vis environmental issues and issues linked to preserving the various species of marine mammals.
Consequently, partnerships between the different research communities and maritime industry players were developed some time ago, leading to concrete action and strict rules.
This collaboration is possible because each partner offers unique expertise and all are concerned with improving the means, tools and measures aimed at protecting our marine mammals and improving maritime transport’s environmental performance.
Work is currently under way to:
- Enable the implementation of innovations to further reduce the maritime sector’s
- Increase knowledge about marine mammals’ habits in order to facilitate decision-
making regarding the necessary coexistence of the different species inhabiting the St. Lawrence, commercial shipping and recreational boating
- Assess the impacts of underwater noise
- Develop new technologies (e.g. the Marine Acoustic Research Station (MARS) developed by Innovation maritime) directly impacting noise reduction and lowering the risk of collisions involving whales.
For further information, please consult the Maritime Information Bureau’s Environment section.
The maritime sector offers a great many diverse job prospects.
Both on land and at sea, the maritime industry offers numerous career opportunities.
Of the 16 000 direct jobs the industry represents in Québec, 1 in every 3 jobs is on board
Over the next 3 years, maritime organizations foresee having 4 000 jobs to fill, including
more than 3 000 hires of navigating personnel.
The maritime industry offers exciting challenges and generally very attractive salaries
that are higher than the Québec average for skilled jobs.
To consult jobs that are currently available, please see the Human Resources Sectorial
Committee of the Maritime Industry’s maritime job offers section.
For further information, please consult the Human Resources Sectorial Committee of the
Maritime Industry’s sectorial study on human resources requirements in the Québec maritime transport industry (French only).