Claws for celebration: Lobsters help Halifax Stanfield pot record cargo volumes in 2018

Halifax Stanfield lobster boxes

Nova Scotia seafood represented a “significant portion” of the record 36,938 tonnes of cargo processed at Canada’s Halifax Stanfield airport in 2018.

The increase of 8.5% over 2017 marks the fifth consecutive year of cargo volume growth for the airport and comes as the hub begins work on a new logistics park.

Bert van der Stege, chief commercial officer at Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), said: “Similar to passenger travel, we continue to see the cargo side of our operations expand, resulting in multiple daily dedicated cargo flights filled with Nova Scotia exports now flying out of Halifax Stanfield.

“We work closely with suppliers, shippers and airlines year-round to enable the global export of goods directly from Nova Scotia to destination markets, meaning more people are able to enjoy our world-class quality seafood and other products.”

Construction work on the air cargo logistics park will begin this year begin and the facility is slated to open in late 2020 or early 2021.

At a total investment of C$36m, Halifax Stanfield was able to move the project forward with funding support from the federal and provincial governments at C$18m and C$5m respectively, in addition to its own investment of C$13m.

An HIAA spokesperson said: “This new facility will enhance transportation infrastructure; support the flow of goods and improve cargo handling, enhance trade for the province and region, expand international capacity to foster exports and create jobs.

“Buoyed by the ratification of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), demand for Nova Scotia exports continues to grow in Europe. Carriers such as Cargojet, with its weekly flight from Halifax Stanfield to Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany, moves seafood exports – as well as specialized electronics and machinery – to points in Europe and beyond.”

Overall, air cargo exports contribute an estimated $447.1m to the provincial economy.

Added the spokesperson: “Live lobster exports and demand for these ocean delicacies continues to flourish, especially in Asia and Europe. Lobster is the largest single commodity shipped by both value and volume, at C$215.7m and 11,495 tonnes respectively.

“Total seafood export value equates to C$232m. Exports account for 36.5% of total cargo volume processed at Halifax Stanfield.”

Operators at Halifax Stanfield include First Catch, Skylease Cargo, Cargojet, Korean Air Cargo, FedEx, Air Canada, Atlas, Suparna Airlines, WestJet and Qatar Airways, offering connections to China and multiple global destinations.

Tangier Lobster Co managing director Stewart Lamont said: “The growing airfreight cargo lift from Halifax Stanfield is extremely encouraging for Atlantic Canadian companies looking to export internationally.

“When it comes to flights, infrastructure and specialized human resources, we now have critical mass and that’s good news for everyone involved.”

Halifax Stanfield airport’s cargo area


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