Crustaceans crush 2016, leading to 4.1 percent cargo rise at Halifax

Thanks to a booming year for lobster, Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) saw substantial cargo growth over 2016, processing more than 33,000 tonnes of cargo, up 4.1 percent over 2015. An estimated US$187 million in seafood exports were shipped last year, an increase of approximately $40 million from 2015. As demand for lobster and other high-value seafood grows in markets such as Asia, YHZ expects continued growth in seafood exports.

The airport’s new 17,000-square-meter cargo pad is providing additional capacity, “making Halifax Stanfield an even more attractive airport for cargo exports,” said Bert van der Stege, vice president for business development and chief commercial officer at Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), the operator of YHZ.

Yangtze River Express Airlines was the latest cargo carrier to add services to Halifax Airport and take advantage of the lobster export season earlier this month. The Chinese carrier operated five 747-400F cargo flights between Canada and China since the first of the calendar year.

Passenger numbers were up as well, and bellyhold cargo is an important part of the story. “Compared to the previous year, our 2016 passenger numbers were up 5.6 percent,” said Joyce Carter, HIAA president and CEO. “We are set to hit 4 million passengers in 2017 and we look forward to achieving this milestone.”

The airport is Atlantic Canada’s busiest full-service airport, with cargo connectivity to markets across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean Basin, Europe and Asia. The airport processes cargo worth more than $447 million each year.

Those interested in learning more about air freight in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April.  To register, or for more information, go to

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