Montreal: Doing better than competition
Port of Montreal officials said Thursday their port is performing better than competitors.
Speaking at the port’s annual general meeting, Sylvie Vachon, acting president and chief executive officer, said the economic crisis has affected the marine shipping industry, particularly containerized cargo, but that Montreal has limited the downturn in the number of containers handled to less than 10 percent.
Combined first quarter traffic is down 14.1 percent compared to the same quarter last year.
'These results are definitely better than those of our competitors, which means that the Port of Montreal continues to benefit from its structural advantages and its market diversification,' Vachon said.
A recent report by Datamyne found import container volumes at the top 10 U.S. ports were down from 14.5 percent to 29.4 percent, averaging a 21.3 percent decline.
Montreal also performed better than its main competitors on the East Coast in 2008, moving a record 1.47 million TEUs in 2008, 8.1 percent more than in 2007, Vachon said.
Bulk cargo volumes were 13.5 million tons, up 1.3 percent. The port handled 1.5 million tons of grain in 2009, a 16.8 percent increase over the prior year.
'These results show that the port and its users were able to fully benefit from the unique competitive advantages offered by the Port of Montreal to serve central Canada and the U.S. Midwest markets on one side and, on the other, the Northern European and Mediterranean market,' Vachon said. She signaled out the performances recorded on the Mediterranean and West Indian routes, which respectively experienced growth of 28.4 percent and 37.2 percent in the number of TEUs handled.
'This development allows us to improve our market diversification,' she added.