Container traffic at the Port of Montreal grew 4.5 percent in the first quarter year-over-year on strong demand from the U.S. Midwest and Canada, and double-digit growth in Mediterranean trade.
The first quarter improvement followed 6.8 percent growth, to 1.33 million 20-foot equivalent container units, in 2010.
The increases were largely due to what is really Southeast Asian trade, which is routed through the Suez Canal to Mediterranean hub ports and then to Montreal.
Montreal Port Authority CEO Sylvie Vachon said TEU count in the Mediterranean trade jumped 23 percent, “making the Mediterranean the engine of growth for our containerized cargo market.” She also credited the improving U.S. and Canadian economies.
Total traffic at the port reached 25.9 million metric tons in 2010, up 5.7 percent over 2009, Vachon told the MPA’s annual general meeting.
For the first quarter, containerized cargo totaled 3.1 million metric tons, up 4.5 percent from a year earlier. Inbound cargo was up 15.2 percent to 1.34 million tons from 1.16 million in last year’s first quarter. Outbound cargo, however, declined 2.6 percent to 1.72 million tons.
Three carriers, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Co., operated weekly services between the Med and Montreal.
Montreal’s other cargo sectors also recovered last year. Dry bulk volume increased 5.1 percent to 5.6 million tons, while liquid bulk rose 4.9 percent to 8.2 million. Dry bulk volume fell 17.0 percent in the first quarter, to 1.1 million tons, but liquid bulk more than made up for it, soaring 46.2 percent to 2.3 million.
The port also invested C$42.2 million (US$43.2 million) in projects to expand capacity last year.
Port of Montreal News:
Port of Montreal ranks 10th in IMports & Exports on the JOC top 25 North American Ports.
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