Port of Montreal - Strong grain traffic performance limits the effects of the
crisis pending the economic recovery

MONTREAL, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - For the first nine months of the year, the total cargo volume handled at the Port of Montreal declined by 14% (2.8 million tonnes fewer) compared to last year, down to close to 17.2 million tonnes.

In the container sector, the tonnages posted were down 18.2% compared to the same period last year, totalling slightly more than 8.3 million tonnes.

In numbers of full and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), the drop reached 16.4%, totalling 932,134 TEUs.

The results relating to containerized cargo traffic for the Port of Montreal are very similar, if not better, than those of its main competitors on the U.S. East Coast, still subject to the economic impact, according to data collected by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

However, the results continue to be quite positive in the marine grain traffic sector; the Port of Montreal experienced a 62.8% upswing (about 505,000 tonnes) over last year. This brings the total traffic at the grain terminal to 1.8 million tonnes for the first nine months of the year.

The dry bulk sector posted a decline of close to one third of its volume, dropping to close to 1.9 million tonnes.

The volume of oil products handled at the Port remains, for its part, almost equal to last year, dropping 0.6% to 5,135,943 tonnes.

"Canadian and American manufacturing sectors continue to experience difficulties in getting fully back on course, and this still holds for containerized traffic and such dry bulk as iron, zinc and copper," stated Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO 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.

SOURCE Montreal Port Authority

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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