Main market: Northern Europe
Montreal Ocean Steamship Company launched the first regular transatlantic ocean transportation service from Montreal in 1856. The shipping line’s vessels sailed between Montreal and Liverpool, United Kingdom. Today, Northern Europe remains the Port of Montreal’s main market, accounting for 47% of the containerized cargo traffic moving through the port. “It’s a mature and stable market,” says Tony Boemi, vice-president of growth and development for the Montreal Port Authority.
Numerous services or maritime routes link Montreal to European ports: The SLCS1 (St. Lawrence Coordinated Service 1), a joint agreement among Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and OOCL; the SLCS2 (St. Lawrence Coordinated Service 2), an agreement between Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL; and the TA-4, a service operated by A.P. Møller-Mærsk that also carries containers for CMA CGM.
The Mediterranean: a rapidly growing market
Traffic between the Port of Montreal and the Mediterranean market continues to grow and now represents about 19% of the containerized cargo traffic moving through the port. In addition to this are containers that originate in Southeast Asia and the Middle East and move via the Suez Canal to transshipment ports in the Mediterranean where they are then reloaded onto ships headed for North America and bound for Montreal. Today, these new markets are the point of origin or final destination for 22% of the containers moving through the Port of Montreal.
Two services link Montreal to Mediterranean ports: the Canada Express, operated by MSC, and the JMCS (Joint Med Canada Service), an agreement between Hapag-Lloyd and Hanjin Shipping.
Transshipment ports in the Caribbean handle containerized cargo traffic that originates in Asia and in Latin American countries on the Pacific Ocean and then transits the Panama Canal. On the whole, Latin America accounts for about 6% of the containerized cargo traffic moving through Port of Montreal. The Montreal/Caribbean Service operated by MSC handles traffic on this route.
Traffic with Africa/Oceania represents slightly less than 4% of the containerized cargo traffic moving through the Port of Montreal. Hapag-Lloyd’s Africa Service handles traffic on this route.
… and Canada
Traffic within Canada accounts for about 3% of the containerized cargo traffic moving through the Port of Montreal. Newfoundland-based Oceanex handles this traffic, which consists primarily of containers and general cargo moving between Montreal and St. John’s.