Montreal To Handle Larger Vessels, Boost Throughput


The largest crude oil tanker to call at the port of Montreal in December 2013 will be the start of a trend of larger vessels calling at the port. This follows a decision in May 2013 by the Canadian Coast Guard to grant access to vessels of 44m width to enter the waterway that leads to the port of Montreal. The larger vessels now able to call at the port of Montreal will pose an upside risk to our tonnage throughput forecasts for the port.

The largest crude oil tanker to have ever called at the port of Montreal, the MT Overseas Portland, carrying 475,000 barrels of crude oil, arrived at the facility in early December. The tanker originally came from St James, Louisiana, in the US. As of May the Canadian Coast Guard has given authorisation to the passage of vessels that are 44m wide, meaning ships of a larger size are now able to pass through the St Lawrence Seaway, which has enabled the port of Montreal to handle these larger vessels.

BMI has previously written on the positive impact of the Canadian Coast Guard's decision to allow larger vessels through the St Lawrence Seaway; we highlighted that this will offer upside risk to our forecasts for the port of Montreal's container throughput. BMI notes, however, that the larger vessels now able to call at Montreal will also offer upside risk to our tonnage throughput forecasts at the port. Over the medium term (2014-2018), we project tonnage throughput at the port of Montreal to expand by 22%, an annual average increase of 5.1% year-on-year (y-o-y), to reach a tonnage throughput level of 38.4mn tonnes in 2018. We expect the opening up of the St Lawrence Seaway as the beginning of a trend in the number of larger vessels calling at the port of Montreal, and this will ensure Montreal's tonnage throughput continues to expand.

Tonnage Growth Ahead
Port Of Montreal's Total Tonnage Throughput, 2008-2018 ('000 tonnes)

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This article is tagged to:
Sector: Shipping
Geography: Canada