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The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) said it was delighted with a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) decision authorizing the passage of vessels up to 44 metres wide in the Quebec-Montreal section of the St. Lawrence navigation channel. The previous authorized width was 32.1 metres without restrictions.

The CCG has made the provisions following a study commissioned by the MPA and conducted jointly with Transport Canada, the CCG, the Laurentian Pilotage Authority and the Corporation of Central St. Lawrence Pilots.

“I would like to thank everyone who has collaborated on this project,” said MPA President and CEO Sylvie Vachon. “This initiative will allow the Port of Montreal to strengthen its position as North America’s leading port for container traffic with Europe, and it will reinforce Montreal’s strategic position as a logistics and transportation hub of choice for all types of cargo.”

Specifically, the new provisions will make it possible for all post-Panamax vessels, including 6,000-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container ships, to reach Montreal.

“Shipping lines, no matter what type of cargo they carry, will be able to substantially increase capacity on their services to Montreal, which will inevitably lead to benefits for the Port’s broad customer base,” Ms. Vachon said.