Port of Montreal
Port Commerce

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA), an autonomous federal agency, is responsible for making the Port of Montreal a competitive world-class seaport. The MPA constructs and maintains port infrastructure and leases properties to private stevedoring companies and shipping lines. It also operates a grain terminal, a passenger terminal, and a railway with 100 kilometers (60 miles) of track that serves almost every berth in the Port of Montreal. The MPA's mission is to manage the Port of Montreal's infrastructure, facilitate transportation and logistics, promote trade, contribute to the local and national economies, and respect the environment. Pilotage services are required on the St. Lawrence River between the Les Escoumins pilotage station and the Port of Montreal.

The Board of Director's for the Montreal Port Authority contains seven-members representing businesses in the Port of Montreal area. There are also directors appointed by each of the three government levels (federal, provincial, and municipal). Four additional directors are appointed by the federal transport minister based on recommendations from port users.

The Port of Montreal is about 1600 kilometers (one thousand miles) from the Atlantic Ocean on the Saint Lawrence River (Seaway). Its central location gives the Port of Montreal access to as many as 100 million consumers and the major markets in Canada and the United States.

The world's biggest shipping lines give the Port of Montreal direct access to major ports in Europe and the Mediterranean with direct routes to important ports in Liverpool, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremerhaven, Le Havre and Marseille, Barcelona and Valencia, Genoa, and Lisbon. Maritime shipping lines calling at the Port of Montreal include CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Hanjin, Maersk, OOCL, and MSC.

Since 1964, the Port of Montreal has been operating year-round with the help of Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers. One of the world's largest inland waterways, the St. Lawrence River is open all year with a depth of 11.3 meters (37 feet) for all types of vessels, including 4800-TEU containerships.

Since 2008, an electronic navigation system between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Port of Montreal has given pilots real-time access to the Canadian Coast Guard's MARINFO Internet portal with current information on waterway conditions including water levels and tide conditions. The MARINFO system is linked to the Automatic Identification System AIS) and tracks vessel position and movements on waterways. State-of-the-art electronic navigation allows tug pilots to navigate the St. Lawrence even in shallow depths and near-zero visibility. The Port of Montreal will soon have access to real-time three-dimensional mapping of the waterway.

The Port of Montreal's four container terminals and 11 dockside stations handle containerized cargoes like forest products, foodstuffs, metal products, construction materials, iron and steel products, vehicles and accessories, chemicals, textiles, ores, and a variety of other goods. Five terminals in the Port of Montreal and 11 dockside stations (five with special roll-on/roll-off ramps) handle non-containerized general cargoes like metal products, roll-on/roll-off cargoes, iron and steel products, granite and sandstone, vehicles and accessories, forest products, and other goods.

Liquid bulk cargoes are handled in the Port of Montreal at six terminals and 11 dockside stations where cargoes are dominated by gasoline, fuel oil, and diesel oil, but they also included jet fuel and asphalt. Three Port of Montreal terminals and ten dockside stations with both covered and open-air storage spaces handle dry bulk cargoes that are dominated by grain and iron ore, but they also included salt, raw sugar, fertilizers, zinc ore, scrap metals, copper ore, gypsum, dolomite, industrial sand, and other commodities. The Port of Montreal's grain terminal can store 260 thousand tons.

The berths in the Port of Montreal are a total of 11.7 thousand meters in length with alongside depths ranging from 6.1 meters to 10.7 meters, and they contain a total of 885.3 thousand square meters of open areas and 102.2 thousand square meters of sheds. The Port of Montreal's railway network offers over 100 kilometers (60 miles) of dockside service. Being a very popular tourist destination, the Port of Montreal boasts a modern cruise passenger terminal as well.

From January through October 2012, the Port of Montreal handled almost 26.3 million tons of cargo, including 11.6 million tons of general cargo, almost 9.9 million tons of liquid bulk, and over 4.7 million tons of dry bulk. General cargoes included 11.5 million tons of containerized and 119.7 thousand tons of non-containerized cargo. Inbound traffic accounted for 16.8 million tons of cargo, including over 5.4 million tons of containerized general cargo, 7.0 million tons of liquid bulk, almost 4.3 million tons of dry bulk, and nearly 72.8 thousand tons of non-containerized general cargo. Outbound traffic of 9.1 million tons leaving the Port of Montreal included 5.6 million tons of containerized general cargo, 1.8 million tons of liquid bulk, over 1.6 million tons of dry bulk, and 46.3 thousand tons of non-containerized general cargo. Containerized traffic in the Port of Montreal from January to October 2012 totaled over 11 million tons in over 1.2 million TEUs. This included over 5.4 million tons of inbound containers in more than 632.8 thousand TEUs and 5.6 million tons of outbound containers in 632 thousand TEUs.

  • Container terminals

The Port of Montreal has four container terminals: Bickerdike, Racine, Maisonneuve, and Cast. These terminals cover an area of almost 90 hectares. These Port of Montreal terminals are equipped with 15 dockside gantry cranes, 26 yard gantry or mobile cranes, and a variety of supporting cargo-handling equipment. The Port of Montreal container terminals have 11 berths with depths ranging from 8.2 to 10.7 meters (26.9 to 35.1 feet). Depending on the terminal, rail service ranges from four to eight tracks and offers capacity for as many as 150 cars.

The berths specializing in handling containers in the Port of Montreal are a total of 3.6 thousand meters long and contain 591.6 thousand square meters of open area. Two container berths in the Bikerdike Terminal are a total 357 meters in length with alongside depth of 8.8 meters, and they contain 9.6 thousand square meters open area). Four berths are located in the Cast Terminal with a total length of 738 meters and alongside depths of 10.7 meters. The Port of Montreal's Cast Terminal also contains 197.1 thousand square meters of open area.

The four container berths in the Port of Montreal's Maisonneuve Terminal are 827 meters long with alongside depth of 10.7 meters, and they contain a total 179 thousand square meters of open area. Nine container berths in the Racine Terminal at the Port of Montreal total 1.6 thousand meters in length with alongside depths ranging from 8.2 to 10.7 meters, and they include 205.9 thousand square meters of open area. Five of the Racine Terminal berths have alongside depth of 10.7 meters.

The Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership operates two container terminals (Racine and CAST) served by the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways with direct links to major rail carriers in the United States. The terminals are also connected to the highway networks in Canada and the United States so that shippers have reliable and cost-competitive inland transportation to North America's major markets.

In early 2011, the Montreal Port Authority entered into two level-of-service agreements, one with Canada National and Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership and one with Termont Montreal, to focus on supply chain efficiencies in the Port of Montreal. The agreements established key performance indicators including daily metrics for terminal container dwell times, rail-car availability and one-time performance, and vessel performance. The performance indicators will help improve fluidity at the gateway.

  • Bulk and breakbulk terminals

Fourteen berths in the Port of Montreal specialize in non-containerized general cargoes. These berths also contain 147.6 thousand square meters of open area and 64.8 thousand square meters of covered shed space. The Port of Montreal's non-container berths 22 through 28 all have alongside depth of 8.8 meters and range in length from 152 to 200 meters. Non-container berths 48 through 52 all have alongside depth of 10.7 meters and range in length from 158 to 338 meters. These berths include 91.1 thousand square meters of open area and 29 thousand square meters of covered shed.

The non-containerized general cargo berths in the Port of Montreal include two berths in the Contrecouer Terminal. Berth 1 in the Contrecoeur Terminal is 229 meters long with alongside depth of 10.7 meters and contains 3.7 thousand square meters of covered shed. Berth 2 in the Contrecoeur Terminal is 175 meters long with alongside depth of 6.1 meters.

Ten berths in the Port of Montreal are devoted to dry bulk cargoes that include iron ore, fertilizer, road salt, copper ore, raw sugar, gypsum, and industrial sand. The ten dry bulk berths in the Port of Montreal have a total length of 3127 meters (10.3 thousand feet) and berth depths ranging from 9.1 to 10.7 meters (29.9 to 35.1 feet).

The Port of Montreal dry bulk berths contain 146.1 thousand square meters of open area and 37.4 thousand square meters of covered shed. Berths 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 98 have alongside depth of 9.1 meters and range in length from 152 to 202 meters. These berths contain a total of 39.6 thousand square meters of open area. Berth 33 has a 3.7 thousand square meter shed. Dry bulk berth 39 is 183 meters long with alongside depth of 9.4 meters, and it includes 8.7 thousand square meters of open area and a 5.2 thousand square meter shed.

Berth 43 in the Port of Montreal is 266 meters long with alongside depth of 10.2 meters, and it has 31.1 thousand square meters of open area. Berth 46 is 144 meters long with alongside depth of 10.2 meters, and it contains 4.7 thousand square meters of open area and 4.9 thousand square meters of shed.

The remaining Port of Montreal dry bulk berths (40, 41, 42, 46SE, 71 and 1) are a total 1.2 thousand meters long with alongside depth of 10.7 meters, and they include a total 35.1 thousand square meters of open area and 8.4 thousand square meters of covered shed. These berths range in length from 162 to 229 meters long. Berth 81 has the largest open area of 27.3 thousand square meters.

The Port of Montreal's Grain Terminal contains three berths handling wheat, corn, barley, and soy. Berth 54/55 is 395 meters long with alongside depth of 10.7 meters, and Berth 56 is 245 meters long with alongside depth of 8.4 meters. The grain terminal in the Port of Montreal has storage capacity for 262 thousand tons as well as loading capacity of 5500 tons per hour and unloading capacity of 3000 tons per hour.

  • Oil / Liquid terminals

Berths handling liquid bulk cargoes in the Port of Montreal total 1.9 thousand meters in length. They include berths specializing in non-petroleum liquid bulk like molasses and vegetable oils (Berths 56-57 and 57-58) are a total of 342 meters long. Berth 56-57 has alongside depth of 10.7 meters, and Berth 57-58 has alongside depth of 9.8 meters.

The 11 liquid bulk berths specializing in petroleum products in the Port of Montreal total over 1.7 thousand meters (5670 feet) in length and have a total capacity for 15 million barrels. Petroleum berths 74, 94, 95, 103S, and 109 all have alongside depth of 10.7 meters (35.1 feet) and range in length from 190 to 406 meters (623 to 1332 feet). Berths 96, 103N, and 105 have alongside depth of 9.7, 9.1, and 9.4 (31.8, 29.9, and 30.8 feet), respectively.

  • Cruise terminals

The Port of Montreal's Iberville Passenger Terminal welcomes over 47 thousand cruise passengers every year. Located on De la Commune Street in the historic district of Old Montreal, the Iberville Passenger Terminal in the Port of Montreal is just 20 minutes from both the Montreal Dorval International Airport and Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Cruise passengers visiting the Port of Montreal are treated to stop-overs in cities on both sides of the Canada-United States border, rustic fishing villages, and sightings of migrating whales along the way.

A favorite harbor for recreational boaters, the Port d'escale, the Quays of the Old Port of Montreal, is located minutes from downtown. With 110 berths for boats up to 7.5 meters draft, the marina offers tie-up and valet services, gated access and 24-hour patrol, power outlets, rates for hourly or daily stop-overs, pump-out facilities, free Wi-Fi access, and complete sanitary services. The Old Port of Montreal runs along the romantic De la Commune Street waterfront in the Port of Montreal's historic district. This birthplace of the 350-year-old city is visited by over seven million visitors each year. The Old Port of Montreal Corporation, an autonomous federal agency, is responsible for managing, developing, and operating the Old Port of Montreal, including marine facilities and the tourist and cultural opportunities.

  • Rail and intermodal connections

The Port of Montreal is served by CN, the Canadian National Railway Company, and its subsidiaries. Canadian National stretches from the Atlantic to Pacific Coasts and to the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Ports with Canada National service include the Canadian ports of Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, and Prince Rupert and the United States ports of New Orleans and Mobile.

The Montreal Model is one of the reasons for the Port of Montreal's success. This rail management system optimizes the flow of cargo from ship to rail and truck. At the base of the Port of Montreal's efficient rail network are 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) of main port rail and more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) of dockside track. The Port of Montreal tracks are linked to Canadian National and Canadian Pacific yards and through them to rail service throughout Canada and the United States. Containers arriving at the Port of Montreal from the central Canada and the United States' Midwest region connect to port locomotives that move them to Port of Montreal container or grain terminals.

A vast network of highways is just minutes away from the Port of Montreal's facilities. That network links the Port of Montreal to major markets in Ontario and Eastern Ontario as well as to the United States' Northeast and Midwest Regions. Over 2500 trucks move through the Port of Montreal every day. In 2011, the Port of Montreal installed the latest technology in its trucks, arming them with video cameras and optical character recognition technology for tracking containers and registering for the Port of Montreal's 26 control checkpoints. The Port of Montreal even has biometric technology that identifies truck drivers and validates transactions at the single container level.

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