The Port of Montreal welcomes the first ocean-going vessel of 2010

MONTREAL, Jan. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), welcomed Friday morning Captain Steven Lloyd, Master of the OOCL Belgium, and his crew. By crossing the Port of Montreal's downstream limits at Sorel at 00:51 a.m., the OOCL Belgium became the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2010.

During a brief ceremony held aboard the ship, Ms. Vachon congratulated the whole crew and toasted the future of merchant shipping and a new year of commercial navigation to the Port of Montreal. "The arrival of this ship is of particular importance this year as it heralds the beginning of a new economic cycle after 2009, a year marked by a deep global recession," stated Ms. Vachon.

Flying the Hong Kong flag, the OOCL Belgium is a containership operated by the OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line), represented in Montreal by the Inchcape agency. The OOCL Belgium left the Port of Liverpool in the United Kingdom on December 24 at 12:09 a.m., and docked this morning in Montreal at Racine Terminal operated by Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership.

During an official ceremony on Monday, January 4th, Captain Lloyd will receive the Gold-Headed Cane, a highly priced trophy 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. According to December 2009 projections, the Port of Montreal has handled about 1,260,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2009. 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: Photos accompanying this release are available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Montreal Port Authority

For further information: For further information: Yves Gilson, Communications advisor, (514) 531-7910, Fax: (514) 283-0829,,

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