Montreal, January 4, 2016 – Montreal Port Authority (MPA) President and CEO Sylvie Vachon officially inaugurated the start of a new year of activity at the Port of Montreal today by presenting the Gold-Headed Cane to Captain Jun Eric Aljo Dalipe, master of the Vigorous, the first ocean-going vessel to enter the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2016. The Vigorous left the Port of Sohar, Oman, on November 30. It crossed the Port of Montreal’s limits on January 1 at 5:21 a.m. Her arrival underlines the fact that the Port of Montreal is open year-round to all ocean-going vessels.
The event also allowed the MPA to recognize the work of Corporation du Saint-Laurent Central pilots Pierre Labelle and Pierre Audette, who brought the vessel safely into port.
The 177th Gold-Headed Cane presentation Ceremony brought together numerous representatives of the maritime industry and Montreal’s business and cultural communities as well as political figures including The Honourable Marc Garneau, federal Minister of Transport, Quebec Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy, Mr Jean D’Amour, and Mr Aref Salem, City Councillor and Member of the Executive Committee in charge of transportation.
Sylvie Vachon highlighted the demanding work of master mariners, as well as the huge appeal the Gold-Headed Cane has for those who call at the Port of Montreal: “This trophy is still and always will be seriously coveted by ship masters from around the world who sail to our waters.”
There was a time that awarding the Gold-Headed Cane celebrated the arrival of the first vessel that made it through the ice in springtime. Now it reminds us that the Port has been open year round since 1964.
Registered in the Marshall Islands, the Vigorous is 180 metres long. Vigorous Trading and Shipping operates the bulk carrier, which entered service in 2013.
The Vigorous is docked at berth # 1 at Contrecœur. The terminal is operated by Logistec.
A very good year for the Port of Montreal
According to preliminary statistics, the Port of Montreal handled 31,9 million tonnes of cargo in 2015. This unaudited figure is higher than our traffic results of the previous year: it corresponds to an increase of nearly 4,7% in freight traffic. It also represents a historical record for the Port of Montreal.
More good news: once again, the cruise industry broke a new record for passenger traffic. In 2015, Montreal welcomed more than 91,000 passengers and crew members, which represents nearly a 28% upswing compared to last year. The Cruise Committee’s work is paying off above and beyond expectations. Since its creation in 2011, there has been a staggering overall increase of 97% more cruise passengers and crew members!
About the Port of Montreal
Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the Port of Montreal is a major diversified transshipment centre that handles all types of goods – containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk and dry bulk. It is a leading container port served by the largest container shipping lines in the world.
The Port of Montreal has its own rail network directly dockside. It is connected to the two national rail networks and a highway system. The port operates a passenger terminal. All other terminals are run by private stevedoring firms. Port activity supports 16 000 jobs and generates $2,1 billion in economic spin-offs annually.