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Sister ports

Updated: 2012-03-07

11. America - Montreal Port Authority in Canada

Sister ports

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is an autonomous federal agency created under the terms of the Canada Marine Act. It does everything in its power to make the Port of Montreal as competitive as possible, and from this perspective it provides first-rate facilities to sea and land carriers, terminal operators and shippers.

The MPA builds and maintains infrastructures that it leases to private stevedoring companies. These companies, as well as shipping lines, are represented by the Maritime Employers Association, which employs the longshoremen at the port.

The MPA directly operates a passenger terminal and its own railway network, which includes more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) of track and provides transcontinental railways with direct access to almost every berth.

The agency's board of directors is made up of seven businesspeople from the Montreal area. Each of the three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – names a director. The federal transport minister, on the recommendation of port users, names the remaining four directors. The board is autonomous and elects its own chairman.

By promoting greater trade between countries, globalization has profoundly changed the face of maritime shipping. New road infrastructures and freight networks service growing demand from around the world. In the process, Montreal has become an attractive and affordable gateway to North America’s industrial heartland, especially for shipping lines from Asia and the Mediterranean.

Several factors explain the Port of Montreal’s popularity: its strategic location, the versatility of its facilities, and its extensive rail and road networks that provide access to inland markets throughout North America.

The Port of Montreal is also a vital link in the supply chain of various raw materials and products throughout Canada and the USA. It is a conductor of international trade for all its customers: 40 million consumers are within a day’s travel by truck; 70 million consumers are within three days of travel by rail.

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