The Port of Montreal handled 28.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2013, down only slightly from the previous year and from its record-setting year of 28.5 million tonnes in 2011.

“Considering the weak economic growth in developed countries, we can say in all honesty that 2013 was a good year for the Port of Montreal,” said Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority. “The total volume of traffic was down by less than 1 per cent compared with 2012.”

The port handled 11.9 million tonnes of containerized cargo in 2013, down 1.1 per cent from the previous year. Some 1.4 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers) moved through the port in 2013. “The economic slowdown in European and North American markets affected trade,” Ms. Vachon said. “But the impact on the Port of Montreal was offset by the strength of new, growing markets in Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.”

Non-containerized general cargo traffic was up 22.7 per cent to 159,677 tonnes thanks mainly to increased volumes of metal products.

Close to 9.55 million tonnes of liquid bulk cargo moved through the port last year, down 1.7 per cent from 2012. Nonetheless, it was the port’s third-best year ever in this cargo category.

Dry bulk traffic was up 0.2 per cent to 6.6 million tonnes due mainly to increased movements of iron ore, fertilizers and scrap metal.

“Looking ahead, the economic recovery seems to have taken hold in the United States, and Europe should experience some growth this year,” Ms. Vachon said. “The declining Canadian dollar should help our exports. Although we must remain prudent, we expect our total traffic to increase in 2014.”