Kanguq - Automne / Fall 2013 - Page 21

Nouvelles de la FCNQ / wMŒns2 gnC5nq5 / FCNQ News\r\nService de l’expédition\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nShipping and Distribution\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn September 1973, I started working\r\nfor the Fédération formerly based in Lévis. Shortly after, the Fédération moved to\r\nMontréal in December of the same year.\r\nThere were only four employees at the shipping department at the time. We had to do\r\nmost of the work ourselves to prepare for\r\nthe move that included furniture, sculptures and other goods. Overall, we filled\r\nnine 50-foot trucks. As a comparison, we\r\nnow ship five trucks of food and goods\r\nper week to supply the Fédération cooperatives. Between 1973 and 1982, our work\r\nconsisted mainly of shipping and receiving\r\nsculptures.\r\nBack then, the packaging and supply of\r\ngoods intended for maritime service was\r\ncontracted out. Grocery products and fresh\r\nfood were shipped directly to the cooperatives by our suppliers. But when the Fédération’s new headquarters were built in 1988,\r\nwe finally had the space and experience\r\nneeded to operate the maritime service\r\nourselves.\r\nIn the early years of the Fédération when\r\nit was looking to charter a ship to deliver\r\ngoods, we hired Transport Desgagnés, a\r\nsmall maritime transport company and the\r\nonly one willing to service Nunavik. Our\r\nrespective businesses grew alongside each\r\nother and Desgagnés continued to provide\r\n\r\nus with custom services to suit our changing needs. A few years ago, we established\r\na business partnership with Transport Desgagnés to cater to Nunavik’s needs in terms\r\nof maritime transport. The newly created\r\ncompany was named Taqramut Transport\r\nInc. and is now located on Côte-Ste-Catherine in Montréal, three kilometres from the\r\nMercier Bridge.\r\nIn 1996-97, major changes took place at\r\nthe shipping department. A cold storage\r\nroom and a freezer were added in the warehouse to package and sh ip fresh and frozen\r\nfoods from Montréal rather than Val d’Or.\r\nShipping food from Val d’Or was causing\r\na nearly 20% loss of fresh produce due to\r\npoor packaging quality or other factors beyond our control. In 1996, the Fédération\r\nreceived a $38,000 subsidy from the federal government to find a solution to the\r\nproblems related to shipping food to the\r\ncoops. A joint study was conducted over\r\nsix months with Université Laval professor\r\nJean-Pierre Emond. Packaging and transport methods were assessed with a range\r\nof tests. The study led to positive changes.\r\nIn fact, Canada Post cited the Fédération as\r\nan example for the quality of fresh produce\r\npackaging and handling. As a result, the\r\ncooperatives’ demand for fresh foods soon\r\nincreased.\r\nJoining Colabor Group for the purchase\r\nof grocery products and frozen foods and\r\nhaving Home Hardware cater to all our\r\nhardware needs allowed us to offer faster,\r\nmore efficient service to our members.\r\nThese changes had a significant impact on\r\nthe volume of goods shipped by the Fédération to the cooperatives. In 1996, the\r\nnumber of boxes shipped totaled less than\r\n40,000, whereas the number rose to 400,000\r\nin 2004. We are now the most important client of Air Inuit in Nunavik. More recently,\r\nin 2007, we acquired another building located next to the Fédération’s headquarters\r\nto house a new 40,000-square foot warehouse used to operate our maritime service.\r\nAfter more than 40 years of service at the\r\nFédération, I feel privileged to have played\r\nan active role in the remarkable growth of\r\nthe Fédération and its member cooperatives.\r\n\r\n\r\n