In an economy that is creating headlines for all the wrong reasons, Port Saint John’s five-year strategic plan is a ray of optimism and a testament to good planning.
Over the past few years, the Port has redefined and re-positioned itself, attracted new customers, and experienced double-digit growth.
Jim Quinn, President and CEO, attributes this positive trend to having a strong plan.
“Five years ago, we put a strategy in place to re-introduce our port to the global shipping community with the goal of growing our business and modernizing our facilities,” says Quinn. “Thanks to a great team of Board, management and staff, we’ve successfully executed initiatives in all our business areas – and our growth is a reflection of that work.”
Looking forward over the next five years, the Port is remaining focused on the guiding principles set down by the Canada Marine Act:
- Maintaining financial self-sufficiency
- Maintaining strategic significance to Canadian trade
- Maintaining a link to rail and highway infrastructure
- Maintaining a diverse cargo base
With priority initiatives including sustainable business development, product diversification, infrastructure renewal and land use planning, Quinn says the next five years will be exciting times for the Port.
“During the next five years we will be investing in modernizing our facilities, which will strengthen our position as one of Canada’s leading ports. That’s exciting for all of us here, and I am sure for people throughout our community
because it will position us for continued growth.”
The Port has carefully positioned itself as an agile solution provider, which is paying dividends both on the home front and with customers around the world.
“We have great natural advantages, and excellent intermodal connectivity ,” says Quinn. “What makes us exceptional, however, is that we offer a willingness to continuously innovate, to think outside the box and to take a positive solutions-based approach to the challenges we encounter. We want our customers see us as a responsive and collaborative trade facilitator, and our local stakeholders to see us as a community builder and a tool for prosperity.”
Global economic forces including the price of oil, and the value of Canadian dollar, will certainly have an impact on growth forecasts, but Jim Quinn remains optimistic:
“The global economy presents many challenges for the entire transportation sector, but it also provides opportunities. We are ensuring our Port takes every advantage of these opportunities, from the attractiveness of export trade due to the low dollar, to Canada’s progressive approach to lateral and multi-lateral trade agreements.”
But bottom line, he says, is this: success requires diversity, and good people to make it happen.
“Diversity in our business is a key to success. Maintaining existing areas of our business, while incorporating the flexibility for continuous improvement and exploring new business provides opportunity for continued growth even if one particular sector experiences a slowdown due to varying market conditions or economic cycles,” says Quinn. “Diversity is our advantage, and our people are our strength.”