MONTREAL, Quebec, January 3, 2012 – Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), today officially inaugurated the start of a new year of activities at the Port of Montreal by awarding the Gold-Headed Cane to Captain Fuerstenberg of Germany, Master of the Seasprat, the first ocean-going vessel to enter the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2012. The Seasprat left the Port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, on December 20. She entered the limits of the Port of Montreal on January 2 at 06:04 PM. Her arrival highlights the fact that the Port is open year-round to all transoceanic vessels.
This 173rd awarding ceremony of the Gold-Headed Cane brought together a great many representatives of the marine industry and the Montreal business community. The event also allowed the MPA to salute the work of the pilots from the Corporation du Saint-Laurent Central, Messrs. Lavallée and Foisy, who brought the vessel safely in to port.
Flying the German flag, the Seasprat measures 188 metres long. Operated by German Tanker Shipping, this oil tanker was launched in 2007. She is docked at berth 103,
For the Port of Montreal, the year 2011 was a very good year: According to our preliminary data, the total volume of cargo handled at the Port, all traffic combined, is expected to be up just over 9%, bringing it to 28 million tonnes and making 2011 a record year at the Port of Montreal, stated Ms. Vachon.
In her speech, Ms. Vachon cited several anniversaries in the marine industry that were celebrated in 2011 or will be celebrated during 2012: the 120th anniversary at the Port of Montreal of shipping company Hag-Lloyd, whose Canadian head office is in Montreal, the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Canadian Coast Guard, which ensures secure year-round navigation on the St. Lawrence, the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority whose mandate is to ensure the security of navigation in the obligatory pilotage zones between Les Escoumins and Montreal, the 30th anniversary of the launch of the St. Lawrence Coordinated Service, jointly run by the Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL shipping lines and that connects the Port of Montreal to the ports of Northern Europe, and the 25th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council. t-Laurent. “All these anniversaries show how deeply the marine industry, from Montreal to the mouth of the river, has been anchored in the community for many, many years… and is more vibrant than ever,” she stated.
About the Montreal Port Authority 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 noncontainerized 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.