The Port of Montreal celebrates 50 years of container shipping

Nine regular services connect Montreal to over 140 countries

April 9, 2017
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MONTREAL—The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and its clients celebrated on April 4 the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first containers at the Port of Montreal.

“In this year of festivities for Montreal and Canada, I am pleased to celebrate the 50 years of containerization that forged our history,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the MPA. “Containers are literally in our DNA at the Port of Montreal. It’s what sets us apart and it’s our strength, right on par with the great diversity of cargo that we handle.”

In 1967, the Port of Montreal handled its first container. The following year, it inaugurated the first Canadian container terminal, and Manchester Liners Ltd launched a weekly container transport service to the UK.

The port also handled more than 11,300 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) containers for a single shipping line. In 2016, the Port handled 1,447,566 TEUs for six shipping lines. In the past fifty years, nearly 35 million TEUs have transited through Montreal’s port facilities.

Today, the Port of Montreal is the only container port on the St. Lawrence River and the largest port in Eastern Canada. It has five container terminals. Nine regular services operated by global leaders in marine shipping connect Montreal to over 140 countries. Goods such as food products, fresh produce, electronic equipment and forestry products that are transported by container through Montreal mainly originate from, or are destined to, Northern Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean.