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Algeciras Port improves its connectivity with Latin America

Credit: Algeciras Port


Handling 4.7 million tons or 37% of the Spanish horticultural cargoes, Algeciras Bay Port became one of the principal ports for fruit & vegetables operators  


The Port of Algeciras is the largest Mediterranean port for all cargo traffic and the largest Spanish port. It is located in the Strait of Gibraltar, a transit way for 9 out of 20 principal maritime routes. Thanks to the strategic geographical location of Algeciras Port, it operates as the distribution centre for Southern Europe, Mediterranean countries and Northern Africa.

“Our current connectivity along with our competitive transit times make Algeciras the natural gateway for reefer cargo coming from Latin America and heading to South Europe, North Africa and Med” says J. Javier Lopez, Head of commercial division. “We connect directly with more than 200 ports, it takes just 7 days to come from Natal (North Brazil) and we are one hour away from Morocco by RORO and feeder service”

As a novelty in 2019, Algeciras has improved its transit times for import flows coming from some of the main producing countries in Latin America as Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico and Dominican Republic.

A wide range of services
offered by the Port community companies

With 109,4 million tons of total cargo (2019), the Port of Algeciras ranks the fourth among top EU ports. “We handle nearly 380,000 TEUS of import- export full cargo, some 56,000 TEUS of them are reefers, which is very important for us,” informs Mr. Lopez. “Furthermore, our Port community is highly specialised in reefer cargo, and the largest fruit exporters from South America keep trusting in our port capabilities.”  The current cold storage capacity in the port and surrounding area exceeds 30,000 pallets, and a wide range of services for refrigerated and frozen goods is offered. These companies cover load, storage, cargo consolidation and distribution to customer centers. They also handle custom office paperwork or quality controls, providing an extra value throughout the import and export process. Thanks to the unique border inspection post open for 24 hours 365 days a year, perishable commodities are released within 24 hours upon arrival. At present, most part of the Spanish horticultural cargoes (4.7 million tons or 37%) is carried out through Algeciras Bay Port.

The Port of Algeciras has 2 terminals: APMT and TTI-Algeciras, which was the first semiautomatic terminal in South Europe. They jointly fulfil 5.000 reefer connexions. New container services from Latin America and South Africa have emerged, ship capacity has increased, growing yearly around 10%, and the Port has been optimizing and automatizing all the logistic processes to become more efficient yet. Thanks to constant investment into its infrastructure, the Port of Algeciras can attend to the megaships (+23,000 TEUS) of the three shipping Alliances: 2M, The Alliance and Ocean Alliance.

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Fruit and vegetable sector remains vital for future of EU’s agriculture

Fruit and vegetable sector remains vital for future of EU’s agriculture

Fruit and vegetables accounted for approximately 14 % of the total value of the EU’s agricultural production in 2018. This sector is fundamental for many EU Member States, especially those of the Mediterranean region and some northern and eastern European countries. Moreover, all EU Member States produce at least a few types of fruit and vegetables.

Apples and tomatoes are the main products of the EU’s highly diversified fruit and vegetable farms. These farms are mostly small-sized with relatively high labour input. They earn incomes ranging from average (for fruit specialists) to very high (for horticulture specialists, including also flower and ornamental plant production). In the EU’s fruit and vegetables trade, internal flows exceed external flows. Nevertheless, the EU tends to be a net importer of F&V.

The EU has a comprehensive support system, consisting of a regulatory framework for the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products. It has also developed promotional and quality policies and applies income support and rural development measures. Recent EU legislation imply significant  adjustments for the fruit and vegetable sector, whose future will be shaped by its capacity to overcome structural vulnerabilities and weak organisation, while innovating and responding to changing consumer needs.


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EU imports of fruits and vegetables from third countries up 5% in 2017


According to Eurostat, imports to the EU of fruits and vegetables from third countries rose by 5% in 2017 to 15.5 million tons. About 13.3 million tons of the total imports were fruits (+6%) and 2.2 million tons were vegetables (+1%). The main imported products are banana (5.9 million tons, +7%), orange (1.1 million tons, +11%) and pineapple (941,000 tons, +11%). Other significant imports were apples (448,000 tons, +1%) and avocados (486,000 tons, +9%).

The main vegetable import to the EU is tomato (568,000 tons, +8%), with volumes growing steadily over the past five years. Morocco is the leading supplier of non-EU tomatoes, with volumes of 405,000 tons representing 71% of the total. Other key vegetable products imported to the EU are potato (430,000 tons, +14%), onion (243,000 tons, +8%), peppers (230,000 tons, -1%) and green beans (189,000 tons, -6%).

Overall, vegetable imports are highly concentrated in a small number of products while the range of imported fruit is much broader.

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Port of Oakland handles 36% more fresh cargo

port oakand

The Port of Oakland is handling 36% more containers of fresh fruit and vegetables than in 2013, and the volumes are only set to grow. The number of containers has rocketed from 80,000 to 135,000, with exports accounting for 103,000 of the fresh fruit and vegetable containers – a 44% rise increase from 2013. The number of imported containers rose by 16%

The major exports were oranges and grapes, with the prime destinations being Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. One advantage that the Port of Oakland offers is its ability to handle temperature-controlled cargo, with refrigerated export containers delivered mainly at night to cut down handling time. The Port is investing further to add hundreds of electrical plug-in spaces for refrigerated containers this summer, which will allow safe storage of larger volumes of perishables.

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Russian imports of fruit and vegetables up by 17% in 2017


Russian imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have grown considerably over the past year. The total of 7.1 million tons arriving from abroad in 2017 constitutes a rise of 17% over the 2016 level. Nevertheless, this figure is still well below the 2013 level – the year before the trade embargo came into force – when almost 8.5 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables were imported into Russia.  The recovery is due in part to the Russian Government lifting its own trade embargoes on various Turkish products in 2017 and also thanks to the arrival of record volumes of Ecuadorian bananas. There were also increases in imports from China, Egypt, Azerbaijan and Moldova.