Containerized seafood exports are a major economic driver for Nova Scotia

March 21, 2017, Halifax, Nova Scotia – The movement of containerized cargo through the Port of Halifax is a major contributor to the economy of Nova Scotia. The most recent economic impact report, produced by Chris Lowe Planning and Management Group, found the Port of Halifax’s economic output from operations on the economy of Nova Scotia in 2015/16 is $1.706 billion in economic output, up 5.9% from the last economic impact update to the end of 2013.

Value of a container

Through the Port of Halifax in 2015, Nova Scotia container exporters contributed over $1.9 billion to the province’s gross output. Combined with port operations, the total impact of the Port of Halifax on Nova Scotia’s gross output is $3.631 billion with the direct portion being $1.962 billion.

Containerized cargo facilities and marine services at the Port of Halifax enabled Nova Scotia businesses in 2015 to export 76,993 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) shipping containers into international markets through the container terminals. On average, each container exported through the Port of Halifax is worth $25,000 to the Nova Scotia economy in terms of direct and spinoff economic benefits. However, an export container filled with Nova Scotia seafood is worth an estimated $73,650 – three times that of a regular container – in direct and spinoff economic benefits to the economy of our province.

The Seafood Industry in Nova Scotia was built over generations by hard-working men and women harvesting a top-quality product. Having access to international markets through the Port of Halifax is a key component of the growth of that industry.

“The most remarkable statistic to come out of this economic impact report is the value of a seafood container,” said Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “With exports taken as a whole, it is crystal clear how Nova Scotia exports are fundamental to the well-being of our province.”

Overall findings of the 2015/16 Port of Halifax Economic Impact Study:

  • The Port of Halifax generates $1.706 billion in economic output (up 5.9%)
  • The Port of Halifax enables Nova Scotia exporters to contribute $1.9 billion to provincial gross output (new finding)
  • Combined Port of Halifax operations output and exporter output is $3.631 billion in economic benefit to Nova scotia (new finding)
  • $809 million in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (up 8.8%)
  • Each Nova Scotia export container moving through the Port of Halifax is worth $25,000 in direct and spinoff (indirect and induced) economic benefits to the Nova Scotia economy (new finding)
  • An average export container filled with Nova Scotia seafood is worth $73,650 in direct and spinoff economic benefit to the economy of Nova Scotia (new finding)
  • 12,446 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs resulting from port operations (up 5.3%)
  • 24,571 FTE jobs derived from Nova Scotia container exporters (new finding)
  • 37,017 total FTE jobs (new finding)
  • $584 million wages and salaries resulting from port activity (up 5.8%)

Halifax Seaport and Cruise:

  • In 2016, the total economic output for Halifax Cruise was $122.9 million (up 17.8%)
  • The Halifax Seaport attracts between 1.2 and 1.3 million visitors annually
  • Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market customers generated over $23.4 million in sales at the Seaport Market and $18.7 million in sales in surrounding businesses resulting in over $42 million in economic benefit.

The Halifax Port Authority is helping to grow the economy of Nova Scotia by providing Nova Scotia exporters with a highly efficient supply chain which gets their product to international markets.

An entire network to support the export of locally produced and manufactured goods is already in place, supported by CN’s excellent Class 1 Rail Infrastructure and Nova Scotia’s major highways. “Containerized cargo is a significant economic driver in our province,” added Karen Oldfield. “It means jobs for the men and women who handle the cargo; it means opportunities for those in the trucking and rail industries; work for those in marine services; and employment in logistics and supply chain support facilities found throughout Burnside Industrial Park and Bayer’s Lake where Nova Scotia products are packaged and prepared for export.” The international container terminals at the Port of Halifax enable regional companies to access European and Asian markets to sell their agriculture, aquaculture, and manufactured products.

The full report is posted to the Port of Halifax website and can be found at


Lane Farguson
Communications Advisor
Halifax Port Authority
Ph. (902) 426-7375
[email protected]