FREDERICTON, N.B. - East Coast dairy farmer and businessman, Larry Jewett, has taken his farming and livestock exporter expertise and added a twist to his company, Ocean Livestock, with his Cowtainer ...
FLOATING CATTLE HOTEL: The cattle are comfortable in the Cowtainers.
FREDERICTON, N.B. – East Coast dairy farmer and businessman, Larry Jewett, has taken his farming and livestock exporter expertise and added a twist to his company, Ocean Livestock, with his Cowtainer Transportation System.
A “cowtainer” looks like a regular 40-foot sea container but has windows, ventilation fans, a penning area and an overhead hay storage area. It’s basically a barn within a container, said Jewett, and can accommodate up to 23 small cows or 15 heifers.
“Cattle can live for up to two to three weeks in a cowtainer. It is very similar to the intermodal system, except you’re not running these cattle up and down ramps from a cattle hauler to a cattle ship. It has been called the cattle’s hotel suite,” Jewett said.
Jewett’s cowtainer system is a one-stop shop.
“We give customers a quote and that is it; we look after the veterinary inspections, government submissions, the paperwork involved and we can even advise them on health issues. Our staff then goes on the vessel with the cowtainer to tend to the cattle,” said Jewett.
Jewett designed the first cowtainer about two years ago in order to ship his own cattle after marketing the animals in other countries. Originally Ocean Livestock acted as a service company to other exporters.
Today, Jewett has equipment and staff in Houston, Tex., and has had an operation based in Florida for two years now.
“We are taking the ‘go slow’ approach in terms of moving forward and expanding,” said Jewett, “because there are legal issues with the ship lines in that there are huge liabilities when moving cattle on a ship with other kinds of cargo on it. So we have been developing contracts and insurance protocols, so that has been our biggest challenge so far.”
However, Jewett has identified a number of markets that he would like to move into in the future, and expects to be doing something on the West Coast, likely Seattle, Wash., within the next six to 12 months.
Although Jewett doesn’t own his own trucks, he says the trucking company is an integral part of his business.
“We have to get these cowtainers moved around on a regular container chassis, so we work with carriers on a regular basis and we have trucking company contacts all over the world really, because we could be shipping these cattle anywhere,” said Jewett.
The Cowtainer Transportation System is protected by a U.S. patent.
For more information, contact Larry Jewett at Ocean Livestock at 506-363-3815.