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Press release

The Port of Montreal releases its 2019 annual
and sustainable development reports

 Montréal, June 15, 2020 — This morning the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) held its annual meeting virtually. During the Web conference, President and CEO Sylvie Vachon, accompanied by the Chair of the Board of Directors, presented the operating results for 2019.  

Cargo traffic

For the MPA, 2019 was a sixth consecutive record year in terms of tonnes of goods handled. The total volume of goods reached 40.6 million tonnes, up 4.3% from 2018.

The container sector also set a new record with 15.1 million tonnes of containerized cargo and 1.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Market diversification continued: 27% of containerized trade was with Asia (an 8% increase), 5% with South America and 4% with Africa and Oceania. At 57%, Europe remained the main market. At the same time, our trade with the U.S. Midwest enjoyed an 11% upswing.

The dry bulk sector posted a strong increase of 17% over last year with a total of 9.2 million tonnes, mainly due to the resumption of operations at the grain terminal following a labour stoppage in 2018.

The liquid bulk sector remained stable compared to last year with 16.2 million tonnes handled. The non-containerized cargo sector dropped 33.5%, to 123,000 tonnes of cargo, mainly due to the end of handling oversized parts for the new Samuel-de-Champlain Bridge.

The 2019 cruise season boasted 112, 000 cruise passengers and crew members, with 76 calls from 17 different cruise lines.

Financial results

The MPA’s financial results improved in 2019. Operating revenues reached $130 million, a 5% increase over 2018, while expenses amounted to $99.3 million. Factoring in investment income, net earnings were $31.9 million. 

These excellent results and steady growth over the past six years are helping the MPA get through the current health crisis by maintaining its essential role in economic activity. These results and growth also make it possible for the MPA to stay focused on the future by moving forward with its major projects, such as planning for a new container terminal in Contrecœur, completing Viau Terminal, erecting the Grand Quay observation tower and developing innovative digital solutions aimed at optimizing Greater Montreal’s logistics and supply chain.

Sustainable development

The sustainable development report, also made public today, showed a continuous decrease over the past seven years in the intensity of GHG emissions from MPA-specific activities per tonne of cargo handled. In all, 145 sustainable development actions were taken in 2019, including measures to protect at-risk species, planting 750 trees, installing a new electrical connection for a decommissioned vessel and the launch of an urban beekeeping project. 

2020: A tougher year

The current health and economic crisis is not without consequences for the Port of Montreal.

“Port activities generate positive economic returns for businesses, workers and citizens. Thanks to the collective strength that unites stakeholders in the supply chain, the Port of Montreal is fulfilling its mission despite the most unpredictable challenges, such as the COVID-19 crisis, which has severely tested the social and economic balance. The Port remains committed to supporting Canadian businesses and playing a key role in the economic recovery to come,” said Sylvie Vachon.

As a result of recent directives from the Government of Canada, the cruise season in Montreal was cancelled. As for cargo volumes handled, after a solid first quarter, the MPA has been experiencing signs of a slowdown on its docks since April, but the intermodal chain remains fully mobilized. For the year 2020, the MPA projects a 12% drop in freight traffic compared to last year. This decline should be followed by a recovery at the end of the year and into early 2021.

The MPA’s 2019 Annual Report and Sustainability Report can be found at: https://www.port-montreal.com/m/rapport-annuel/2019/en

About the Port of Montreal

Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is the second largest port in Canada and a diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods: containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. The only container port in Quebec, it is a destination port served by the largest shipping lines in the world. It is also an intermodal hub with a service offering that is unique in North America, featuring its own rail network directly dockside connected to Canada’s two national rail networks. The MPA also operates a Cruise Terminal and a Port Centre.

The MPA factors economic, social and environmental components into its corporate initiatives. This commitment is governed by a sustainable development policy whose guiding principles focus on involvement, cooperation and accountability. Port activity supports 19,000 jobs and generates $2.6 billion in economic benefits annually.

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