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Port of Montreal cargo soars
to 35.2 million tonnes

2017-01-05

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

The Port of Montreal continued its upward momentum in 2016, with a strong increase of more than 10% sparking a new record for total cargo. It also came within 1% of matching its container record of nearly 1.5 million TEUs in 2015.

"According to preliminary statistics, the Port of Montreal handled 35.2 million tonnes of freight in 2016," said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority. Large increases in liquid bulk and grain shipments boosted total throughput.

Among the highlights of last year was the inauguration of the new Viau container terminal which is increasing the port's capacity by 600,000 TEUs to 2.1 million TEUs.

The second biggest Canadian port after Vancouver is a major player in the North Atlantic container trade, with its deep inland location on the St. Lawrence River well positioned for ocean carriers notably serving markets in Eastern Canada and the US Midwest via extensive intermodal connections.

The 2016 performance was outlined at the traditional annual ceremony marking the arrival of the first ocean-going vessel to enter the Port of Montreal in the new year. The vessel was the Chem Sirius, a chemical tanker operated by Ace Tankers CV and flying the Liberian flag which had left the Port of Antwerp on December 19. The vessel's captain was awarded Montreal's 178th Gold-Headed Cane.

When it was created in 1840, the ceremony saluted the arrival of the first ocean-going vessel that made it through the ice in the spring to reach Montreal. Today, it symbolizes that since 1964 Montreal has been a year round port, with Coast Guard ice-breaker convoys guiding ships when needed during heavy winter weather. In addition, modern containerships with reinforced hulls are deployed on the St. Lawrence trades.

Vachon said the marine tradition was particularly meaningful this year in light of the celebrations of the 375th anniversary of the City of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. "The Port of Montreal is at the heart of these anniversaries and I am certain that our partners feel as strongly about history, as the shipping trade played a leading role in the development of the city and the country."

Also commenting at the ceremony were Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, Jean D'Amour, Quebec Minister for Maritime Affairs, and Montarville MP Michel Picard, representing federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. All hailed Montreal's role as a key gateway on the North American continent. (photo APM)

 
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