Skip to content

Category: Groupe Somavrac

Tis’ the Season… of Giving

Giving of time, money and goods is a notion that is emphasized even more during the holiday season at Groupe Somavrac. To encourage this dedication to community organizations, the company organizes annual activities for its employees to get them involved in the movement.

Decorating Contest at the Head Office

For the holiday season, to brighten up the head office, a challenge was issued to each department to decorate their workspace in an original and festive way. To motivate all employees to participate, the department receiving the highest score from the jury had the opportunity to donate $1,000 to the cause of their choice. The departments had a great time on November 25th while decorating their offices. Four departments received the highest score from the judges. As a result, they each donated $250 to the following causes: Artisans de la Paix, COMSEP, the Breakfast Club and Moisson Mauricie. Congratulations to all the participants for bringing some holiday magic to the offices!

Reading for Christmas with COMSEP

For the 3rd consecutive year, Groupe Somavrac and Librairie L’Exèdre  collaborated in offering books to the children of the community organization COMSEP. This organization gives back daily to the residents of Trois-Rivières who live in poverty by helping them obtain better living conditions.

The donation of books was born from a desire to have a direct impact on the community. As a result, Groupe Somavrac asked COMSEP officials how to offer the best gift to the children served by the organization during the holiday season. The donated books are intended to help the children and their families learn and improve their French language skills.

During the first edition, in 2019, the company gave books to 62 children. In 2020, this number was increased to 82 children and this year, in 2021, 85 children received a book for Christmas.

To convey the Christmas spirit, each book was wrapped and identified by some of Groupe Somavrac employees. The books were hand-delivered before Christmas to each of the children, who were kind enough to make cards for the Groupe Somavrac.

The 2021 edition was therefore a success, much to our delight!

Food donations for Moisson Mauricie

Over the past few years, Groupe Somavrac has called upon the generosity of its employees by collecting things for various causes. Last year, the purpose was to collect used books for COMSEP as well as accessories for the animals of the Mauricie SPA. This year, the purpose of the boxes was to encourage employees to donate food for Moisson Mauricie. Over 45 kg of food was collected by the employees of the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions. Thanks again to all those who participated!

Record Year of Donations to Centraide

For many years, the company has organized an internal fundraising campaign to support Centraide. The money raised is used, among other things, to support the success of young people and to ensure essentials for families in need. This year, employee participation was a huge success! In fact, they raised over $4,500 for the organization. Groupe Somavrac is very proud of the kindness and involvement of its employees and has also added an amount to bring the donation up to $7’ 000. Everyone’s generosity has once again exceeded expectations!

The battery industry: an important market for Groupe Somavrac

From an interview with Mikael Gagnon, Business Development Manager since 2017

Groupe Somavrac is composed of a team of professionals offering services that meet you needs. In this article, learn how Groupe Somavrac serves companies in the battery industry.

One stop shop

Groupe Somavrac has positioned itself as a trusted partner for industrial companies. Few organizations offer specialized road transportation, warehousing, container loading and marine loading services.

Groupe Somavrac stands out by offering a complete logistics service for the transportation of mining concentrates from the mining sites to the battery manufacturing plants, whether local or international. With its wide range of services, Groupe Somavrac offers an adapted logistic combination for each project, every step of the way.

An expertise well established in the company: bulk mining product

Groupe Somavrac’s specialized mining concentrate handling team can handle all the components of the battery industry: graphite, lithium, cobalt and nickel are some examples. Groupe Somavrac has the expertise and knowledge to handle these type of products since its creation in 1963. Especially since these types of mining concentrates are handled in bulk form, from the mine to the ship, using a multitude of transportation methods, which is another specialty of Groupe Somavrac.

‘’ With its wide range of services, Groupe Somavrac can offer the most efficient and economical logistical combination for each clients project. ‘’

Geographical aspect

Groupe Somavrac is an interesting alternative to large centers such as Quebec City and Montreal because of several warehousing sites and terminals strategically are located throughout the St. Lawrence River. Groupe Somavrac develops adequate and customized solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce costs related to the client’s logistics.

Also, this location, halfway between Quebec City and Montreal, allows for a competitive distribution of products by road, thanks to Groupe Somavrac’s subsidiaries: Transport Servitank and Transport Somavrac, and this, to Ontario, Northern Quebec and the Northeastern United States.

Safety and environment first

Groupe Somavrac stands out as a full-fledged bulk handler with a prominent level of expertise in health, safety, and environment for complex of hazardous products. Indeed, mining concentrates must be managed with great care according to very rigorous standards.

Our partners have entrusted the handling of their products to our team, which has over 50 years of experience. Groupe Somavrac continuously adapts to customer requirements while meeting market standards.

Economic development strategy

The Quebec government is investing considerable efforts to develop the potential of the electrical industry in Quebec. This economic development strategy should certainly change the face of Quebec’s energy environment. This new vision generates several new operations in which Groupe Somavrac is involved with its multimodal logistics services.

Groupe Somavrac has the expertise to facilitate the completion of handling projects related to energy transformation.

Multimodal handling allowing the transition between road, rail and sea transportation of bulk mining concentrates is an important service in the market for Groupe Somavrac. The company engages in several future projects to help achieve the energy transition and ultimately, the electrification of transportation.

Discover our Bécancour Terminal

Excerpted from an interview with Louis-Philippe Gravel, Assistant Director of Operations for Servitank since 2020.

Halfway between Quebec City and Montreal lies the Servitank terminal in the Bécancour Waterfront Industrial Park. Its position is strategic – far from residential areas, on the shore of the St. Lawrence, with access to the Canadian National Railway (CN) – which enables Servitank to cover the entirety of the North American interior network. “For example, we receive railcars from Mississippi, every day,” says Louis-Philippe.

This industrial zone is the ideal location for an industrial project. Not to mention that the St. Lawrence Seaway gives you access to the world market: for years, Servitank has received ships from around the world.

“Several sites are available to build a fully turnkey project to receive raw materials.”

Services offered

Liquid bulk stevedoring

Located less than one kilometer from port facilities, Servitank is connected to the B-1 dock section of the Port of Bécancour by a pipeline system that makes it possible to transfer liquid product directly from ships to tanks. The multiservice offering of port facilities makes it possible for the Servitank team to transship various types of vessels, such as liquid cargo ships, self-unloaders, and dry cargo vessels. In total, more than 40 vessels per year are loaded and unloaded at the Bécancour terminal.

Learn more about the stevedoring service

 

Liquid bulk warehousing

The terminal has a total of 16 tanks connected by pipeline to neighboring plants or loading docks for railcars or trucks. Thirteen are accessible dockside, meaning that they can be connected directly to a ship. Products for the sanitation, mining, and gas industries are warehoused in tanks appropriately adapted for the type of operation (stainless steel, mild steel, insulated, heated, with or without agitators, and nitrogen tank inerting).

Learn more about warehousing service

 

Rail transshipping

As previously mentioned, a railway connecting Servitank facilities to the CN railway makes it possible to provide transshipping service. A total of 1,300 tank cars are unloaded each year in Bécancour. Along with rail transshipping, our facilities provide tank car heating. Cutting-edge equipment enables us to track the technical specifications (temperature, pressure, weight, etc.) of products inside railcars in real time and fulfill customers’ operational requirements.

Learn more about the handling and transformation service

 

Self-serve truck loading

All tanks are designed to load and unload product by truck (transfer from truck to tank or vice versa). A safe and efficient self-serve system makes it possible for trained drivers to load their tanker directly on-site, 24/7. Up to twenty trucks are loaded every day at the terminal.

Learn more about the transportation service

What Sets Groupe Somavrac and its Transportation of Hazardous Materials Apart

Excerpted from an interview with Martin Deschamps, Transportation Director for Transport Somavrac and Transport Servitank since 2017, and Alex Gagnon, Assistant Director of Transportation

In this article, discover what separates Groupe Somavrac and its transportation of hazardous materials service from the rest.

Products and Equipment

Groupe Somavrac can transport a wide range of products, including hazardous and non-regulated materials for the agricultural, industrial, agrifood, and pulp and paper sectors. The transportation of hazardous materials is provided using Groupe Somavrac’s adapted equipment.

Groupe Somavrac makes over 33,000 deliveries each year, including hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

Health and Safety, Key for Groupe Somavrac

Diligence is a major asset for Groupe Somavrac, as well as one of its core values. Every year, Groupe Somavrac provides drivers with the necessary and appropriate training on the products they transport.

“Above all, we’re looking for professionals. Groupe Somavrac wants drivers that truly represent the company.”

– Martin Deschamps, Transportation Director for Transport Somavrac and Transport Servitank

Groupe Somavrac is very close to its customers: its team of professionals visits customer sites to make recommendations and provide support, particularly when deliveries of hazardous materials are involved.

Safety comes first for employees when it comes to transportation service procedures, and it shows – both Transport Somavrac and Transport Servitank boast excellent safety scores under SAAQ’s register of owners and operators of heavy vehicles (RPEVL).

Groupe Somavrac’s mission, vision, and values shine through in the company’s safety practices, training programs, and responsible management. These cornerstone principles are regularly communicated at every operational level, from upper management to drivers.

“What truly sets us apart is our family of subsidiaries, which provide complementary services. That means Groupe Somavrac draws on the necessary expertise in complete logistics to provide the best transportation services.”

– Alex Gagnon, Assistant Director of Transportation 

Groupe Somavrac is much more than its transportation of hazardous materials service. The company provides complete turnkey logistics services in the fields of stevedoring, warehousing, handling and transformation, transportation, and chemical distribution. It leverages the expertise of each of its subsidiaries to provide the best possible service.

Three Distinctive Features of the Bécancour Terminal

Excerpted from an interview with Louis-Philippe Gravel, Assistant Director of Operations for Servitank since 2020.

Servitank offers complete, efficient solutions for the handling and warehousing of liquid chemicals and industrial products. Operating and managing liquid terminals are part of the core expertise of employees working at this terminal. In recent years, Servitank has undergone two major expansions (in 2006 and 2010), reflecting the incredible business potential of the terminal located in the Bécancour Waterfront Industrial Park, between Quebec City and Montreal.

Three Distinctive Features of the Terminal

Multimodal and state-of-the-art

Accessible by ship, rail, road, and pipeline, Servitank is a top multimodal terminal that can oversee a variety of transfers and handling operations, including receiving ships, tank transfers, inter-plant transfers, ship and railcar transshipping, receiving and loading trucks, etc.

Servitank was inaugurated in 2002, as a customer sought to reduce their ecological footprint. It brought to life this forward-looking vision aimed at minimizing carbon emissions by using a variety of modes of transportation, such as ships and railcars, which can transport far larger volumes than trucks. It’s a business partnership that continues to this day. Beyond the opportunity to receive cargo by ship and rail, it was the ability to pipe product directly to their plant (or other destinations) that sparked the customer’s interest. The logistics of transferring product to tanks, then directly to the customer’s plant helps optimize the raw material supply process in an environmentally friendly way.

Automation and inventory tracking

On that topic, Louis-Philippe says that “the terminal is equipped with an advanced automation system that can track a variety of data points in the field using radar, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, and a cutting-edge security system.” The operating interface gives operators an extensive overview of operations at all times. Automated equipment makes taking inventory easier and more efficient for customers, with greater operational safety.

Employees and health/safety

From a workplace health and safety perspective, keeping high professional standards is required of all our employees, from operators to superintendents and administrative personnel. Health and safety are central to every operations meeting as a core part of our company culture. Procedures are closely followed and every employee is fully trained by Groupe Somavrac on topics such as WHMIS, confined space work, transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), and many more. Servitank operators in Bécancour are also trained on railway safety, driving wheel loaders, and specifics for the products we transship.

“Partnering in a safe, efficient, and professional environment is our daily mission at Servitank.”

4 Reasons to Choose Groupe Somavrac and Its Handling and Transformation Service

Manutention et transformation

Groupe Somavrac specializes in five distinct services to provide customers with turnkey end-to-end logistics solutions. Product handling and transformation are two of these services. Discover the benefits of calling on Groupe Somavrac for these two services in this short blog post.

Serving a Wide Variety of Industries

Groupe Somavrac serves many industries through its handling and transformation services, including the chemical, construction, agriculture, automotive, water treatment, pulp and paper, oil and gas, mining, aluminum, and cement industries. Thanks to its logistics experts, the company provides services that are tailored to the specifics of every industry it serves.

A Solution-Based Approach

Nothing is impossible for Groupe Somavrac – it’s all about transforming issues into opportunities to develop new solutions. The team of professionals that provide handling and transformation services develop robust, structured, and appealing logistics solutions. Company experts are keenly responsive: from the get-go, they listen closely to develop a solid understanding of customer needs and provide the most efficient and cost-effective logistics solution. The engineering department works closely with operations to develop processes that meet the various needs of the customer base.

 

“Customers are the focal point of what we do. We are committed to working closely together to solve every issue they may face.”                       

 

A Wide Variety of Handling Operations

Products that are handled and transformed can be received in totes, drums, small bags, big bags, or in bulk. Groupe Somavrac experts offer a full range of services for product handling and transformation: the team can oversee bagging, debagging, transshipping, dilution mixing, formula development, toll manufacturing, warehousing, and more. Inventory management is also available to ensure efficient tracking of customer products.

Such varied handling operations are available for a wide range of products. Whether it’s hazardous or non-hazardous chemicals, liquid or dry product, in bulk or in bags, Groupe Somavrac has the experts to meet your needs.

Turnkey Service

Groupe Somavrac’s strategically positioned facilities mean the company can provide multimodal handling services. Company terminals are located near the St. Lawrence River and major highways for turnkey service. Cargo arriving by ship can be unloaded, handled, transformed, then shipped out by rail or truck. Groupe Somavrac professionals have developed renowned expertise in chemical handling and can provide handling and transformation services that meet your every need and expectation.

Keep reading our blog posts to learn more about the services Groupe Somavrac offers!

ENVIRONMENT WEEK AT GROUPE SOMAVRAC

As part of Environment Week at Groupe Somavrac, which took place from April 19 to 23, 2021, several activities were held to raise employee awareness of the environmental pillar of sustainable development. In particular, videos and a blog article were shared with all employees by email. Employees also had the opportunity to attend a virtual conference and participate in a friendly competition to identify new ecofriendly measures for implementation.

Awareness campaign

Due to the pandemic, Groupe Somavrac decided to provide its employees with information on environmental care through videos, a virtual conference and a blog article.

Videos aimed at demystifying sustainability and recycling were shared with employees during Environment Week. These videos focused on sustainable development concepts as well as tips and tricks for efficient recycling.

Interested employees were also invited to attend a virtual conference on food waste held by the Earth Day organization. Participants greatly appreciated the conference, which was filled with tips and tricks to help reduce the amount of food waste in the home.

Finally, a blog post on composting was shared with employees to show them that the transition is not as difficult as it may seem.

Friendly competition

To get employees actively involved in Environment Week, they were challenged to come up with sustainable innovations that could be implemented within the company.

A dozen employees sent in their ideas to make the company more sustainable. The ideas have been compiled and some of them will be implemented in the near future.

Participants in the sustainable innovation competition were entered into a draw to thank them for their interest in the project. One of the participants went home with a starter set to help them move toward zero waste: beeswax food wraps, a reusable travel cutlery set, reusable makeup removal pads, bulk bags, etc.

The Competitive Edge Our Services Provide

Excerpted from an interview with Mikael Gagnon, Business Development Manager for Groupe Somavrac since 2017

We are close to our customers, and we are always proactive in providing guidance, support, and advice to help them continuously improve their supply chain efficiency. The competitive edge they derive from each of our main services helps make Groupe Somavrac a benchmark company when it comes to the multimodal logistics of bulk product.

“We are always trying to maximize our supply chain efficiency and lower costs for our customers, by choosing the right handling equipment and assigning the right warehousing location and work team.” – mikael gagnon, business devlopment manager for groupe somavrac

Stevedoring: strategic positioning

The strategic location of our maritime facilities in Trois-Rivières and Bécancour provides several benefits, including

  • Shorter wait times for ships
  • Lower wait time fees and demurrage charges
  • Centralized alternative to major urban centers, with easy access to the Great Lakes
  • Less road traffic and construction
  • Strategic position for road transportation: located along Highway 40 (westward toward Montreal, with better direct access than Highway 20) with easy access to both Montreal and Quebec City-bound directions
  • Bulk specialist for load relief heading to Ontario – an alternative to containers

Warehousing: access

Access by sea, rail, and road represents a distinct advantage for warehousing. Each one of our warehousing terminals has been specially designed and located to keep handling costs low. Our customers seek out our warehouses and tanks located near a railway or marine dock to lower their supply chain expenses. In summary:

  • Groupe Somavrac tanks and warehouses are all near the Saint Lawrence Seaway, railways, and strategic roadways (near highways 40 and 55).
  • In Bécancour, tanks are connected to a network of pipes that makes ship-to-tank and tank-to-customer-facility transfers possible. It’s an innovative, modern site that uses advanced technology to track inventories.
  • Most tanks and warehouses are near handling and transformation facilities: bagging/debagging plants, sifting domes, and/or solution preparation tanks.
  • Space available for new dry and liquid bulk infrastructures.

Handling and transformation: diversification

We have adapted as markets have developed over time. We have focused on development and flexibility to meet our customers’ various requests. This way of working has helped the company diversify in terms of expertise: “We can handle and transform just about any type of bulk safely and efficiently,” states Mikael Gagnon. Here are some of the handling services we provide:

  • Small-format bagging
  • Large-format bagging
  • Drying
  • Sifting
  • Intermodal transshipping (transfers)
  • Multimodal packaging, e.g. adding protection to big bags to be shipped
  • Solution preparation and dilution

Transportation: hazardous materials 

Some types of cargo must be handled with extreme care due to the risk they pose. The Groupe Somavrac team is particularly cautious with this type of cargo and uses adapted methods and equipment to minimize the risk of incidents as much as possible. With Groupe Somavrac, chemicals, toxic products, and flammable materials are in good hands. We are proud to offer the following road transportation expertise:

  • Cryogenic transportation service
  • Several carrier certifications, including Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Classes 2-3-4-5-8-9
  • Drivers experienced with chemicals and hazardous materials
  • Wash stations that keep tankers and trailers clean – ideal and mandatory when transporting hazardous materials

5 Reasons to Choose Groupe Somavrac and Its Complete Logistics Service

Excerpted from an interview with Mikael Gagnon, Business Development Manager at Groupe Somavrac since 2017.

We are experts in dealing with chemicals and hazardous materials

We offer full-service product-handling logistics, even for hazardous materials, for industries such as mining or pulp and paper. The Groupe Somavrac team has the equipment and expertise to handle and transform cargo, no matter the specifics (gas, flammable, corrosive, etc.), with the particular skills and knowledge applicable regulations and work methods require.

The company has owned and operated chemical manufacturing plants since 1999. As a result, we’ve developed unique expertise over the years when it comes to handling these types of cargo. We are now in a position to handle over thirty different kinds of hazardous material.

We let customers focus on their core business

Given the labour shortage, companies are having a hard time finding specialized workers in their respective industries. Hiring additional employees to oversee raw material procurement and shipping means making significant efforts in terms of staffing, training, health and safety, and inventory management. Having to add internal logistics specialists to personnel significantly reduces the time the company can spend on the key activity that drives their success.

Customers are increasingly seeking to stay focused on their core service offering and delegate related tasks to experts in those fields. Logistics is a great example: Groupe Somavrac can take over operations including cargo stevedoring, warehousing, transportation, and handling and transformation so customers can focus on their core business.

 

“Groupe Somavrac has always been responsive to customer needs and proactive in developing solutions that require research, development, and significant investments.”

 

We offer full customization

We can adapt our service to various types of bulk (solid or liquid), material (acids, bases, etc.), and transformation (preparing solutions, sifting, etc.). Over time, the company has built a diverse customer base thanks to its custom logistics offering. Whether dealing with cement, ore concentrates, or fertilizers, Groupe Somavrac has always been responsive to customer needs and proactive in developing solutions that require research, development, and significant investments.

We help import large volumes, export small volumes, and vice versa

Our pivotal position on the shores of the Saint Lawrence is a strategic gateway to America, the Great Lakes, and the American Northeast.

This strategic position on the Saint Lawrence Seaway enables us to receive large volumes of imported cargo and raw materials. Our teams then get to work to transfer and forward them efficiently across North America. We also make it easier to transport cargo for export markets, with a seamless transition between road, rail, and maritime transportation.

We help optimize overall costs

As the company can provide a wide range of services, it’s a one-stop shop for complete logistics. No need to deal with four or five different service providers to unload and warehouse your cargo. We have the facilities and handling equipment to do the work simply and cost effectively.

Your logistics operations can all be handled by multimodal handling specialists in a single, safe location that is specially designed for multimodal operations! Not to mention the simpler administrative aspect of dealing with one invoice, one contract, one set of inventory tracking, and one contact person.

Christmas Mission!

Don de livres COMSEP

To celebrate the holiday season properly, Groupe Somavrac has organized several activities to give back to its community!

Christmas reading with COMSEP

This year again, we donated books to children of the COMSEP organization. This Popular Education Organization brings together people living in poverty who try to improve their living conditions. The idea of donating books to this organization came from our desire to be more involved in our community, while giving useful gifts to children.

Last year, the company donated 62 books to the children of the organization in partnership with a local bookstore (Libraire L’Exèdre). This year, a total of 82 books were given in partnership with the same local bookstore. In addition to that, most of the books donated are either by Quebec or Canadian authors, illustrators, or publishing houses to encourage the local culture and economy.

Also, employees had the chance to donate to the organization by giving their used books to replenish the COMSEP library. Over 5 large boxes full of used books were donated this way to the organization. The generosity of our employees has once again exceeded expectations!

 

Donation of Blankets and Accessories to SPA Mauricie

This year, in addition to book collection bins at the head office, bins for the SPA Mauricie, a local pet shelter, three collection boxes were set up so that employees could donate comforters, cushions and other accessories for cats and dogs. The three bins were filled and there is no doubt that the pets at the SPA Mauricie will benefit from the generosity of the Groupe Somavrac employees.

Drawing Competition

Every year, the company sends holiday greeting cards to its customers. To change things a bit, this year we organized a drawing competition with our employees’ children. The winning drawing would then be used as a virtual card! In addition, our winner had the opportunity to choose a foundation of his or her choice to which the company would donate $ 1,000. This is how Evan Lyrette, our HR colleague Carine Harton’s son won and gave to the Mira Foundation. Thanks to his beautiful drawing entitled “Christmas at Somavrac” we sent unique cards to our customers while giving back to a good cause.