Close to 1.7 million containers (14.5 million tonnes) transited through our five container terminals in 2018, an increase of 9% compared to 2017. This is the fifth consecutive year of growth.
The key to this success is the diversification of markets in the container sector and the diversification of the cargo handled.
This growth is mainly due to the Asian market, which rose 8.3% compared to 2017. However, it should be noted that Europe recorded a 6.6% gain (all types of cargo combined), due to a positive impact from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that entered into force in September 2017. With more than 55% of our volumes connected to Europe, CETA will continue to be a significant engine of growth for years to come.
Growth of 15% in Africa, 9% in Latin America and 3% in the Middle East also contributed to the good results in this sector in 2018. Attesting to this vitality in the container sector, Maersk is providing a new service connecting Montreal to Mediterranean ports, and Hamburg Süd joined the international container shipping lines serving the Port.