Halifax Stanfield snaps up tasty lobster market

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Growth shows no signs of slowing down at Halifax Stanfield International Airport as demand for Nova Scotia seafood continues to increase.

The airport operator, Halifax International Airport Authority tells Air Cargo Week that cargo volumes have increased consistently over the last five years, with 2018 growing 8.5%.

The first half of 2019 was up over 20% compared to the same time last year. The airport expects 2019 to be an excellent year as demand for seafood, particularly lobster to Asia and Europe continues to grow.

HIAA says: “Our number one export commodity remains seafood, primarily live lobster both by value and volume now contributing almost half a billion dollars to the provincial economy alone.”

The busiest North American trade lanes continue to be Hamilton and Montreal served by Cargojet and FedEx, while Cargojet’s Boeing 767 services to Cologne, Germany is the main European route.

Asia is of increasing importance. The airport says: “Demand for Nova Scotia lobster in China, in particular, has led to increased freighter flights leaving Halifax Stanfield, in addition to Korean Air Cargo who is flying multiple weekly B777 freighters into Incheon.”

Between 20 and 25 freighters fly in and out of Halifax on any given week, primarily Boeing 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s.

To accommodate future growth, construction of a new Air Cargo Logistics Park is set to start this year, and open in early 2021.

The facility will enhance infrastructure, support the flow of goods and improve cargo handling, enhance trade, expand international capacity to foster exports and create jobs.

This will help Halifax Stanfield cater for the predicted future demand for Nova Scotia seafood from Asia and Europe.

The airport says: “Upon the completion of the Air Cargo Logistics Park, we’ll be fully equipped to handle the demand and allow us to strategically consider diversifying our product exports and share more of Nova Scotia with the rest of the world.”

A country and region depend on a strong supply chain, and HIAA sees its role as an airport operator to facilitate growth and boost the economy.

The airport says: “An effective and efficient cargo logistics chain is key. We can’t do this alone and value the relationships with stakeholders and customers in the industry.”

A solid logistics chain will help the seafood keep flying out of Halifax. The airport says: “Our opportunity remains our seafood sector and strong demand in Asia. Our strategic geographic location on the East Coast of Canada, gives us the opportunity for more growth into Europe. Similar to Nova Scotia lobster, we can have our high-quality food shipped and served in a restaurant in Europe just a few hours later.”