Foodcareplus, an Antwerp, Belgium-based shipping and logistics company and a member of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, announced the launch a new deep-frozen reefer consolidation service from Halifax to Antwerp. The launch of the weekly reefer service follows discussions during and after a tour organized by the Canadian Mission to the EU, Port of Antwerp and Foodcareplus during the Global Seafood show in Brussels in 2014.

Joined by Ed Fast, Minister of Foreign Trade and David Plunkett, Canada’s EU High Commissioner, a Canadian delegation of lobster exporters discussed the logistics challenges and opportunities in light of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe (CETA). When CETA comes into force, almost 96 per cent of EU tariffs for fish and seafood products will be eliminated. These products include frozen shrimp, lobster, scallops and mackerel. Canada’s present fish and seafood exports to the EU are valued at some $400 million per year and face average EU tariffs of 11 per cent. It is expected that the trade agreement will be ratified by the European Council and the Canadian parliament in 2015, coming into effect no earlier than 2016.

The new integrated reefer consolidation service from Halifax will allow seafood to be shipped deep-frozen from Canada to Europe via Foodcareplus’ frozen cargo facility in the port of Antwerp where physical quality inspection and veterinary examination will be performed by the Food Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain before swift delivery to the final customer.

The service comes with two options: delivered.easy includes collection of palletized cargo in Halifax, ocean freight to Antwerp, full release with the food safety authorities, customs clearance and delivery. Initially, the service will cover Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Ireland and the UK – other countries will be added as from September. Alternatively, pickup.easy service allows European importers to pick up their cargoes at the Antwerp facility where they may choose to opt in on customs clearance.

The new service comes with an easy-to-use online application for all-in pricing that leaves no surprises. Instant pricing may be obtained on smartphones and tablets via The pricing tool will also advise when using full container load shipments would become a more cost-effective option.

Foodcareplus aims for deliveries within 72 hours after arrival in Europe. In order to realize the 72-hour delivery window, the Halifax operation will pre-inspect all paperwork and documentation before the cargo is shipped to Antwerp. The first shipment of the weekly service with a transit time of 10 days is set to leave Canada mid-June, arriving in Antwerp no later than the beginning of July.