Port of Montreal - Traffic up sharply in the first half of 2010

MONTREAL, July 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Port of Montreal enjoyed a 7.9% increase in all traffic combined in the first half of 2010 over the same period last year to reach a total tonnage of approximately 11.8 million tonnes, according to preliminary traffic data. The two main drivers of this growth are containerized cargo and iron ore.

Container traffic posted an increase of about 12.6% for the first six months of the year, rising from 5,445,878 tonnes for the same period last year to 6,129,712 tonnes. The strongest growth came in traffic with the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, with 35% and 19% increases respectively. Traffic with Northern Europe has also improved, posting a 3% increase.

In terms of the number of full and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) for all traffic combined, the increase amounted to 8% for a total of 670,128 TEUs.

On the bulk cargo traffic front, while liquid bulk dropped 2.9%, dry bulk rose 13.7%. Iron ore handled at the Contrecoeur Terminal showed the most marked growth, with an upswing of 376% compared to the same period in 2009.

"The increase in containerized cargo traffic over the first six months of the year is confirmed, bringing us back up to the 2007 level for the same period, while last year at this time we were below the 2005 level," stated Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority. The Port's good performance underscores its key role in the delivery of goods from Northern Europe and the Mediterranean to Central Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

    About the Port of Montreal

Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is a major diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods - containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. It is a leading container port served by seven of the ten largest container shipping lines in the world. Close to 1,250,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) were handled at the Port of Montreal in 2009, representing 11,266,000 tonnes of cargo.

The Port also handled 7,773,000 tonnes of liquid bulk, 2,898,000 tonnes of dry bulk, and 2, 419,000 tonnes of grain in 2009.

The Port of Montreal owns its own rail network, operated directly on the piers. It is connected to the two nationwide railways and a highway system. The Port operates its own grain terminal and a marine passenger terminal that welcomed 47,534 passengers and crew members in 2009. All the other terminals are operated by private stevedoring firms. Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spin-offs per year.

SOURCE Montreal Port Authority

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

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