2017 Annual Report

A History
with a Future



In 2017, for the fourth consecutive year, the total volume of cargo handled at the Port of Montreal broke another record:
38.0 million tonnes, a 7.6% increase over 2016.

The container sector posted strong growth at 5.8% to reach 13.8 million tonnes, or 1.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Two growth drivers largely explain these very good results: the markets of Asia and the Mediterranean, both solidly growing.

Liquid bulk posted the strongest increase in terms of tonnage: 1.0 million tonnes more than the previous year, to reach a total of 14.7 million tonnes, an increase of 7%. This gain is largely due to outbound crude oil from Enbridge Line 9B, starting in December 2015.

For its part, dry bulk rose by 0.9 million tonnes over the previous year, for a total of 9.3 million tonnes, up 10.8%. Notable increases include iron ore (26.4%), salt (30.1%) and scrap metal (440%). These increases offset a slight 2% decline in grain traffic.


Economic impact of the Port of Montreal’s activities

16,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs

$2.1 billion in added value for the
Canadian economy

$41 billion worth of goods transiting through it
every year


Largest container port in Eastern Canada

1.5 million TEUs in 2017,
13.8 million tonnes
of containerized cargo


New Viau Terminal

Close to 200,000 TEUs handled

Over 2,000 vessels
per year

Up to 2,500 trucks
per day

60 to 80 trains
per week

General cargo

14 MT

Dry bulk

9.3 MT

Liquid bulk

14.7 MT

Port of Montreal traffic (in thousands of metric tons)

Type of cargo 2017 2016 Variation
General cargo      
Containerized 13,819 13,063 5.8 %
Non-containerized 230 178 29.2 %
Total 14,049 13,241 6.1 %
Liquid bulk      
Petroleum products 14,197 13,181 7.7 %
Other 464 516 - 10.0 %
Total 14,661 13,697 7.0 %
Dry bulk      
Grains 4,563 4,657 - 2.0 %
Other 4,769 3,762 26.8 %
Total 9,332 8,419 10.8 %
Total tonnage 38,042 35,357 7.6 %

Statements of earnings (in thousands of Canadian dollars)

  2017 2016
Revenue from operations 112,677 106,701
Expenses 90,351 84,026
Operating earnings before the following items 22,326 22,675
Investment income 783 847
Net earnings 23,109 23,522
  • Benefits and Traffic

    As a dominant figure in our History, the Port of Montreal is deeply rooted in the socio-economic landscape of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. In 2017, we showcased the Port of Montreal’s historic role during Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. 

    Economic Driver
  • Projects and Developments

    On June 10, the MPA inaugurated its new cruise terminal with the arrival of the Maasdam, the first vessel to dock there. The building was delivered, as planned, for the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. It was the Port of Montreal’s legacy to its community and to its city in this historic year.

    Cruise Terminal
  • International

    In September, at the Port of Montreal’s Viau Terminal, the federal Minister of International Trade, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, officially heralded the first day of the provisional application of the Canada European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • Sustainable Development

    In 2017, the MPA filed the Environmental Impact Assessment for the construction project of a new container terminal at Contrecoeur. This study was made public by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in January 2018.


Year in Brief

    • Captain Danel Ju, master of the Chem Sirius, won the Gold-Headed Cane.

    • The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) partnered with École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) to create the ÉTS Smart Port Challenge, which awards scholarships to the teams of ÉTS students in the operations and logistics engineering program that propose the best solution to an actual port innovation problem.

    • Announcement of the Montreal Industrial Port Zone, chaired by Sylvie Vachon. The members of the local committee mandated to establish the Montreal IP Zone are: the City of Montreal, the City of Montreal East, the Montreal Metropolitan Community, CargoM and the government departments and agencies concerned. Under this agreement, the government will fund up to 70% of costs associated with implementing the related development plan, to a maximum of $125,000.

    • The Port of Montreal was invited to join a select group of eight port authorities named chainPORT. This initiative by the Port of Hamburg, Germany, enables members to exchange information and develop innovative, forward-looking solutions in keeping with the smart port concept.

    • The MPA and its clients celebrated the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first containers at the Port, a milestone event for the supply chain. In 50 years, close to 35 million TEUs have transited through Montreal’s port facilities.

    • CMA CGM announced a sharing agreement on the Hapag-Lloyd service.

    • At the Port of Montreal, Groupe Desgagnés christened the Damia Desgagnés, its very first vessel able to be fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Énergir and the Port of Montreal took the opportunity to announce that an LNG supply solution for marine fuel was now available at the Port of Montreal.

    • The Government of Quebec announced $40 million in financial assistance under the Marine Transportation Infrastructure Investment Support Program (PSIITM) – Quebec Maritime Strategy. This contribution covers projects to: (1) optimize the intermodal network; (2) expand the short-sea shipping vocation; (3) develop bulk terminals; and (4) upgrade wharf fenders and pier rehabilitation. The total investment for these four projects is $120 million.

    • CMA CGM introduced the NAWA (North America West Africa) service that connects Montreal to Tanger Med Port, the hub for services to the rest of Africa. This new service strengthened the major connection already in place between Montreal and the Mediterranean, while opening new prospects for shipments to the continent of Africa.

    • The MPA celebrated the arrival of the Maasdam, the first cruise ship to dock at the Port of Montreal’s new cruise terminal, in the presence of many partners and political figures.

    • AGT Food and Ingredients became a partner in CanEst Transit’s facility. AGT being one of the world’s largest pulse exporters, this new partnership will considerably increase exports of containerized agri-food products.

    • The MPA inaugurated its new Port Centre with the opening of the History of Ships exhibition, free to the public.

    • The Port made the very first shore power connection at the new cruise terminal, a first in Quebec. The operation was performed on Holland America Line’s cruise ship Veendam. This project, totalling $11 million, received financial support from the governments of Quebec ($3 million) and Canada ($5 million). Ships docking at the Port of Montreal’s new cruise terminal can now be powered by electricity. This two-pronged project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,800 tonnes per year. Shore power was initially rolled out for wintering vessels and then for cruise ships. In 2016, we set up four power supply stations at Berths 25, 27, 29 and M2 for vessels that winter at the Port.

    • Maersk Line announced the addition of a new freight transport service between the Mediterranean and Montreal. Anticipating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the world’s leading shipping company decided to increase its service capacity with the Port of Montreal. Since September 30, it has provided a weekly connection to support the growing demand for freight transport between Montreal and emerging markets. The service rotation is to the ports of Cagliari, Salerno, Leghorn, Genoa, Fos sur Mer, Algeciras, Tangiers, Vigo and Valencia. This news sent a positive signal for both the Montreal and Eastern Canada economies.

    • The MPA and HAROPA (the ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris) signed an international cooperation agreement on the occasion of the Sister Ports Conferences held at Le Havre a few days before the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) entered into force. The goal was to intensify and extend cooperation in the various technical, commercial and research/innovation areas of port activity between these ports.

    • The federal Minister of International Trade, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, held the ceremony for CETA’s provisional entry into force. The event took place at the Port of Montreal’s Viau Terminal, in the presence of representatives of the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal, several ambassadors and consuls, and representatives from the business communities of Canada and the European Union (EU).

    • Building on the popularity of the free History of Ships exhibition, which welcomed the public on the 2nd floor of the new cruise terminal, the Port of Montreal decided to prolong it. Attendance exceeded expectations over the summer, when more than 21,000 Montrealers and local and international tourists visited and gave extremely positive feedback. This success led the MPA to further its initiative and develop a new concept for the Port Centre in keeping with the Missions Charter of a Port Centre published by the Worldwide Network of Port Cities, known internationally by its French acronym AIVP.

    • The new Viau Terminal wrapped up its first year of operation with encouraging results: the number of containers handled exceeded expectations.

    • The Port of Montreal joined forces with Soverdi and Alliance forêt urbaine to invest in greening.  As a first step, this new partnership will plant 375 trees. By doing so, the Port of Montreal joined about a hundred private partners already active in the greening of private and institutional lands in Montreal.

    • A record year for cruises: In its first year, the new cruise terminal welcomed altogether 114,518 cruise passengers and crew members, up a remarkable 33.5% over the previous year.