North America (Change)

As 2020 begins, there are no signs that Montreal, Canada’s second biggest port after Vancouver, strategically located deep inland in relation to the industrial heartland of North America, is slowing down in terms of both capacity and cargo expansion. Last year marked the first time the Port of Montreal surpassed 40 million metric tons in total cargo handled – with the tally attaining 40.5 million tons versus 39 million tons in 2018. And another record was set in container volume, which rose by 4.4% to 1.75 million TEUs. “In 2020, we are projecting that container traffic could increase another 3%,” said Tony Boemi, VP growth and development at the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). In an interview, he attributed the overall cargo growth in 2019 in part to the resumption of activity at the Viterra grain terminal hit by a nine-month lockout in 2018. Highlights on the cargo front in 2019, noted Boemi, included a resurgence of U.S. Midwest cargo which had been on a steady decline. “The increase in Midwest business is spread amongst most of the major carriers calling Montreal.” “Emerging markets continue to have a positive impact on the Port of Montreal,” he continued. “This is the result of transshipment ports being used as hubs to trans-load cargo from the mega containerships to the right size vessels needed for market access.”

Port of Montreal continues record cargo pace and expansion projects, January 22, 2020, www.ajot.com