9.4% increase in container traffic leads to record results for the Port of Montreal in '07

    MONTREAL, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Buoyed by a sharp increase in container
traffic, the Montreal Port Authority's (MPA) consolidated traffic volumes
reached a record high of 26 million tonnes in 2007, rising 3.6% or
912,091 tonnes, according to results issued today by the agency.
    "We are pleased with our performance," said Patrice M. Pelletier,
President and CEO, MPA. "My team and I are now focused on finding innovative
and proactive ways to accelerate growth, and we anticipate that containers
will be the cornerstone of an overall strategy that helps the port remain our
clients' preferred choice on the North American East coast."
    The general cargo category-which includes containerized and
non-containerized cargo-is the principal sector of activity. Volumes in this
category reached 12.7 million tonnes, posting an increase of 7.6% or
892,095 tonnes. In fact, containerized cargo drove much of the increase in
this sector, as traffic rose sharply to attain 12.4 million tonnes or 9.4%,
slightly more than 1 million tonnes-the equivalent of 1.3 million TEUs
(twenty-foot equivalent units).
    Several shipping lines that transported containers via the port last year
experienced robust activity. Certain lines added additional ships to service
particular routes, and some increased their carrying capacity by using larger
ships-the sum of this activity had a positive impact on containerized cargo.
    "I want to thank our customers for their continued confidence in this
port, and I also want to assure them that their needs will remain paramount in
all our future plans," added Mr. Pelletier.

    Liquid bulk-best performance in more than two decades

    In 2007, the liquid bulk category-composed of petroleum, liquid asphalt,
ethanol, and wines and various alcohols-continued to make gains as it
registered its best performance since 1984. While petroleum traffic softened
slightly, 73,800 tonnes of ethanol moved through the port for the first time
last year. The introduction of this new product coupled with an increase in
diesel and hydrocarbons traffic, and a 250,000 tonnes rise in heating oil
volume caused overall traffic volumes in this category to reach 7.9 million
tonnes, rising by 1.7% or 134,290 tonnes.

    Dry bulk volumes stay the course

    Dry bulk traffic amounted to approximately 5.5 million tonnes, slipping
slightly by 2.1%. Marine grain traffic softened by 8.8% to 1.3 million tonnes,
while other dry bulk cargo totaled about 4.2 million tonnes, a slight increase
of almost 0.2% from 2006.

    About the Montreal Port Authority

    The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is an autonomous and profitable federal
agency created by law to operate the port facilities in Montreal on a
commercial basis. Managed by a Board of Directors composed of Montreal
business people, the MPA operates its own railway network, a grain terminal
and a marine terminal and leases the Port of Montreal terminals to private
stevedoring firms. Through its activities, the Port of Montreal generates
almost $2 billion in annual economic spin-offs and creates about 17,500 direct
and indirect jobs. For more information, visit www.port-montreal.com.

For further information:

For further information: Anna di Giorgio, Director of Communications,
(514) 283-7050, info@port-montreal.com

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