The Port of Montreal Welcomes The First Ocean-going Vessel of 2009

    MONTREAL, Jan. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Patrice M. Pelletier, President and
Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), welcomed this
Thursday morning Captain M. H. Rossiter, Master of the Maersk Patras, and his
crew. By crossing the Port of Montreal's downstream limits at Sorel at 0:03,
the Maersk Patras became the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of
Montreal without a stopover in 2009.
    During a brief ceremony held aboard the ship, Mr. Pelletier congratulated
the whole crew and toasted the future of merchant shipping and a new year of
commercial navigation to the Port of Montreal. "The awarding of the
Gold-Headed Cane has a very significant importance for the Port of Montreal,
as it highlights that since 1964, our Port stays open all year round. This
reality, along with the fact that Montreal offers the shortest route between
European ports and the Midwest, and that the Port is directly linked to two
national railway companies, allowed us this year to substantially increase the
number of containers handled at the Port and to contribute even more to the
prosperity of the Greater Montreal region, Quebec and Canada", stated Mr.
    Flying the United Kingdom flag, the Maersk Patras is a container ship
operated by the Maersk shipping line, represented in Montreal by the Robert
Reford agency. The Maersk Patras left the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands
on December 23, and docked this morning in Montreal at Cast Terminal the
operated by Montreal Gateway terminal.
    During an official ceremony on Monday, January 5th, Captain M. H.
Rossiter will receive the Gold-Headed Cane, a prize awarded each year to the
captain of the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without
a stopover.

    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 2007, the Port of Montreal handled a total of 1,363,021
container TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit). The MPA 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.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Paul Lejeune, Director of Communications,
(514) 891-0224, Fax: (514) 283-0829,;

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