Port of Montreal - Increased grain traffic and market diversification lessen the effects of the economic crisis on the Port of Montreal



    MONTREAL, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first six months of the year,
the volume of containerized cargo handled at the Port of Montreal posted an
18.4% decline compared to the same period last year, to total slightly more
than 5.4 million tonnes. The drop in full and empty TEUs (twenty-foot
equivalent units) from January to June 2009 fell to 14.6% compared to the same
period in 2008, to total 619,721 TEUs.
    However, these results are better than those of the Port of Montreal's
main competitors on the East Coast according to data gathered by the American
Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
    The results are very positive in grain shipping traffic; in this sector,
the Port of Montreal enjoyed a 31.1% increase in marine transportation over
last year. Total traffic at the grain terminal, including marine, rail and
road transportation, amounted to 1,203,766 tonnes for the first six months of
the year.
    The Port's market diversification also had a favourable effect. Container
traffic with the Mediterranean saw a 22.2% upswing in the number of full TEUs.
    Irrespective of traffic, the drop in volume handled at the Port of
Montreal is 15.4% (down 2 million tonnes) compared to last year, to reach
close to 10.9 million tonnes.
    "The downturns we have experienced in containerized cargo and dry bulk
such as iron, zinc and copper are due to difficulties in the manufacturing
sectors of Ontario and the American Midwest, which were still being hit by the
recession in the first fiscal half year," explained Sylvie Vachon, President
and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA).

    About the Montreal Port Authority

    The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) operates the world's largest inland
port. It is a leader among container ports, handling 26 million tonnes of
cargo annually. In 2008, the Port of Montreal handled more than 1,473,000 TEUs
(twenty-foot equivalent units). The Port of Montreal operates its own rail
network, providing direct access to berths, and is linked to two major
railways and a highway system. It also operates a grain terminal and a marine
passenger terminal. All other terminals are operated by private stevedoring
firms. Through its activities, the Port of Montreal generates 18,200 jobs and
$1.5 billion in economic spin-offs every year.




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Paul Lejeune, Director of Communications,
(514) 283-7050, Fax: (514) 283-0829, lejeunejp@port-montreal.com;
www.port-montreal.com


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