The Port of Montreal, is a port located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on the St Lawrence river. It is one of the largest inland ports in the World, it is the second busiest port in Canada (after Vancouver), and it is one of the busiest ports in North America. It is also the entry point to other major cities such as Toronto, Detroit and Cleveland. It handles 26,000,000 tonnes (28,660,094 short tons; 25,589,370 long tons) of cargo annually. It remains a trans-shipment point for grain, sugar, petroleum products, machinery, and consumer goods. For this reason, Montreal is also the railway hub of Canada.
In 1964, the Canadian Coast Guard began to use icebreakers to keep the navigation channel open, first and foremost as an environmental measure designed to protect riverside communities from spring floods caused by ice jams, but also allowing winter navigation in the port. The port is preparing to build and operate a new $500-million (U.S.) container facility, and has opened an office in Chicago to promote its advantages in serving the U.S. Midwest.