The world’s first AQUAPORT in The Netherlands
On May 21st 2010 the first AQUALIFE containers with live lobsters landed at the new AQUAPORT facility in URK, Holland. This marks the beginning of the transportation corridor for live shellfish & crustaceans between Halifax, Canada and Urk, Holland, via ocean freight containers rather than air freight.
Since May 21st when the first containers landed, containers with live lobsters have been arriving weekly at the Dutch AQUAPORT. Soon other species of shellfish will follow such as clams, oysters and mussels.
The AQUAPORT facility is designed to receive live shellfish transported in ocean freight containers. The new facility is equipped with state-of-the-art water purification technologies that eliminate the risk of spreading disease and prohibit the invasion of foreign species. Upon arrival at the AQUAPORT all the water in which the shellfish are transported is collected in a special wastewater silo where it is sterilized before being reused in the system.
The AQUALIFE ocean freight solution is designed to meet present and future sustainability demands, including reducing C02 emissions, and exceeding international standards for aquatic animal health and bio-protection.
AQUALIFE’s system is a closed compartmentalized environment where there is no risk of cross contamination; all pathogens are removed by using several state-of-the-art filtration systems.
The first customer to use this new freight corridor is the British based lobster company Homarus Atlantic Ltd. They have initially aimed their sales at clients in France that wish to enhance their environmental profile by replacing airfreight with the AQUALIFE ocean freight solution; a competitive argument that according to the company is getting stronger as many leading retailers no longer carry air freighted products.
"We approached this pioneering opportunity with care and consideration", says The Managing Director of Homarus Atlantic Ltd. Mr. Jean-Marc Stephan."I must say that we have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the lobsters we have taken out of the AQUAPORT in Holland. Our clients in France are over the moon! Apart for some minor operational challenges in the beginning, we have come off to a great start. Mortality levels during transport are well below 1%, and the lobsters are very strong.", concludes Jean Marc Stephan.
Going forward in North America
"Our aim is to consolidate this first corridor between Canada and Europe before moving on to opening new corridors", says Gordon Neal, CEO of AQUALIFE North America. "We still have a lot to learn, but we are increasingly inspired by the demand we are seeing across both international and domestic markets.
There is no doubt that we will be able to support North American Aquaculture producers. We offer a unique solution where we can bridge remote production resources with major urban markets within the fresh and live seafood segment without compromising environmental standards.
Later this year we will be completing the first North American AQUAPORT near Halifax. We aim to build a network of AQUAPORTS in North America from where we can provide freight services both domestically and between continents." Gordon Neal concludes.