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Fresh Lobster: From Sea to Ship

International demand for lobster is on the rise, with 2015 exports valued at over $2.0 billion.


CMA CGM LogoShipping giant CMA CGM is leading a new era of container shipping for the Port of Halifax that benefits customers around the globe. CMA CGM has chosen Halifax to launch Aquaviva, an innovative container that ships live lobsters in their natural seawater environment.

"We know there is market demand for live shellfish,” said Bethany Dunnet, Account Executive – Atlantic Region with CMA CGM Canada. “The Aquaviva container’s rock and hole system mimics the lobster’s natural habitat to preserve the high quality of Canadian lobster brand. It’s like taking the lobster right out of the sea.”

One Aquaviva container can hold approximately 2,300 live lobsters which is about three tonnes of product. The container’s filtration system and technology was developed in partnership with EMYG, a specialized company also based in France.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, international demand for lobster is on the rise, with 2015 exports valued at over $2.0 billion. In particular, there is increasing demand for Canadian lobster in Asia and this is where CMA CGM sees more opportunity.

CMA CGM is moving full steam ahead with its Asia-focused Ocean Alliance. Considered the world’s largest shipping alliance, this mega consortium includes CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and OOSC Orient Overseas Container Line. Its combined fleet of 350 container vessels operates a network of 41 services and offers unparalleled global coverage. The Ocean Alliance AWE3 service will begin calling on Halifax in April 2017, linking North America’s east coast with major Asian ports of Hong Kong, Cai Mep in Vietnam, Singapore and Port Kelang in Malaysia.


“Halifax is geographically well positioned for major lanes,” continued Ms. Dunnet. “The Ocean Alliance allows us to offer more direct calls, with better transit times, and help our customers with greater speed and predictability.”

Outside of the alliance CMA CGM currently provides three weekly services to Halifax, the Saint Laurent Service, Bengal Bay Express and the Columbus Suez Service. Through its Columbus Suez service, CMA CGM was the first to offer direct import/export service between Canada, South China and Malaysia. This service also ushered in the big ship era for Halifax, deploying some of the largest container ships on North America’s east coast, including the CMA CGM Tage with a capacity of 9,365 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

“The Port of Halifax has the capacity, water depth, and infrastructure to accept our larger vessels,” said Ms. Dunnet.

Halifax is ready to welcome “ultra large” container ships topping 10,000 TEUs, having invested $250 million in infrastructure. This investment includes deepening to 55 feet the capacity of the two container terminals and adding several post-Panamax cranes.

CMA CGM plans to continue to work with the Halifax Gateway and partners to offer unique shipping solutions to increase global connectivity for its customers.

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