Trading with the world

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Port Montreal is enhancing its capabilities and accelerating its partnership alliance to live up to their motto – trading with the world.

Port Montreal offers ten reasons why shippers should choose them. The two most important reasons are the transit time and its strategic location. It offers the shortest direct route from Europe and the Mediterranean to North America and it is the closest international container port to North America’s industrial heartland. The others being that the port is directly connected to two class one North American railways companies, with daily departures to Toronto, Chicago, Detroit and it has access to 40 million consumers within one trucking day and 70 million consumers within two rail days. “We sometimes forget that 80 percent of world freight traffic moves by ship. This represents an enormous amount of cargo! The Port of Montreal is the number one choice for 98 percent of Quebec importers and exporters, and 93 percent of Ontario shippers, for markets in Northern Europe. This means that a substantial amount of the products we use in everyday life move through the port. Just like the products manufactured here that are sent throughout the world. The Port of Montreal is at the heart of your daily life,” wrote Michel M Lessard, chairman of the board of directors and Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of Port Montreal in a message to its shareholders in the 2013 annual report. In 2013 Port Montreal handled some 28.2 million tonnes of cargo. The volume handled is slightly less than the traffic results from 2012 and 2011. One of the main reasons for the poor performance is the prolonged economic difficulties in Europe, which is the main overseas trade partner. However, the numbers recorded for the first half of 2014 is better than that of the same period last year across all types of cargo except for liquid cargo where there is actually a sharp dip in volume to the tune of 20 percent. The port handled 14,091,420 tonnes of cargo in the first half of 2014 as against 13,677,881 tonnes in the same period of 2013, which is a three percent increase. A 4.4 percent rise in the number of containers handled in the same period by the port is also very significant. Talking about 2014 the annual report picks two priorities: first, we will make every effort to optimize our infrastructures and adapt them to traffic growth. We also want to further improve the flow of truck and rail movements. Second, the port is determined to achieve even greater market diversification. The markets opening to us in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America have a lot to offer. The Port of Montreal aims to position itself as an excellent solution for exporters and importers seeking to move goods to and from these markets, by offering direct access to transshipment ports located near the Suez and Panama canals. The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) which manages the port maintains its infrastructure to the highest standard in order to provide its tenants with first-rate facilities. “The MPA invested a record $55 million in its facilities in 2013, surpassing the previous record of $41 million set in 2009. The Port redeveloped land in the Viau and Maisonneuve sectors in order to provide more space for container storage. The Viau and Maisonneuve sector projects have increased the port’s container-handling capacity by 13 percent,” said a port spokesperson. Cruise tourism has always been an important activity for the port. According to the spokesperson there has been an increase of 47.5 percent during the 2012 season and the number of passengers keeps on growing. “According to our previsions, Montreal will welcome around 65 000 passengers during the 2015 season! And with Montreal getting ready to celebrate its 375 anniversary in 2017, we are expecting another big increase,” added the spokesperson.

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