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Port of Antwerp 1st port of call for reefer services from Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama

Hamburg Sud and Maersk launch a joint stand-alone service connecting Europe and the key perishables markets of Central America, the Caribbean and the western coast of South America. In northern Europe, Antwerp is the first port of call. The service provides a fast direct connection between the Chilean ports of San Vincente and San Antonio, and northern Europe. In addition an extensive regional feeder network will link the main ports of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia via transshipment hubs in Panama.

Schedule

 The first northbound sailing of the new SAWC1 service is scheduled for June 10, 2019. The “Luna Maersk” will depart from San Antonio, and is set to arrive in Antwerp on July 4th. The first southbound sailing is Lexa Maersk with ETD from Antwerp on June 6, 2019.

“Antwerp is very pleased to welcome the 1st port of call service. Our inland and central location in Europe offers perishables clients very short transit times to reach key consumer markets in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany and beyond. The new service confirms that carriers, such as Hamburg Sud and Maersk, trust in the operational excellence of Port of Antwerp for containerized cargo in general, and perishables in particular”, thus Michiel Vermeiren, Manager Shipping Lines at Port of Antwerp.

Extensive feeder network

Eight ships with post Panamax class (4.500 TEU) will deploy on the SAWC1 service, which departs weekly. With 1.400 reefer plugs each, the vessels are well suited to meet the requirements of the perishables trade.

Ingrid Vanstreels, Key Account Manager Containerized Cargo at Port of Antwerp: “Our ambition is being the preferred perishables port in Europe. Therefore the Antwerp port community eagerly invests in additional capacity, technology, and stimulates cooperation. Together with logistical service providers and the Customs & Food Agency services, Port of Antwerp tackles cold chain challenges jointly. Our key objective? Guaranteeing operational excellence for each perishable client.”

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Hamburg Süd: strong commitment to cargo quality

Cargo experts examine fruit quality after opening a test container equipped with the XtendFRESH system: Michaela Steineker, Thies Claussen & José Ortiz from Eurofins.

Hamburg Süd, a traditional North-South carrier, offers services in most of the world’s key reefer trades. With over 90 years of experience in the transportation of perishable cargo, Hamburg Süd ranks among the top five reefer container carriers worldwide. “We have grown close with the subject of refrigerated cargo in virtually all areas, especially in the Southern Hemisphere where we have our specialists,” says Michaela Steineker, head of Hamburg Süd’s Global Reefer Competence Team. “Where reefer containers are concerned, we transport about 98 per cent food.” Fresh and frozen products are transported, like fruit and vegetables, meat and fish. Bananas currently offer the greatest potential for growth as they are increasingly transported in containers instead of reefer vessels. Hamburg Süd has recently introduced a new service for banana transportation to Europe from Puerto Moin in Costa Rica instead of Cartagena, Colombia. The first port of call in Europe is the Spanish Marin followed by Antwerp, a traditional banana port.

Innovations maintaining quality

Innovations are important at Hamburg Süd, but always with a keen eye on product quality. “We are a high quality reefer carrier dedicated to the cargo. We want to follow new technologies for the best products, but we do not blindly adopt any new technology. We make sure there is extensive testing so no cargo problems arise,” says Michaela Steineker, who has a post-graduate degree in Food Chemistry. One of the projects in the testing phase is ‘Enhanced Reefer Monitoring’. This is a system that monitors the reefer container in real time via mobile data communication. At the same time, the container can be accessed when needed at any time to take corrective action in the box’s operations. Another new technology in co-development with the container manufacturer Carrier is XtendFRESH, a controlled atmosphere technology that is particularly suitable for avocados and bananas. The oxygen content in the container is reduced and the amount of CO2 increased. At the same time, the system removes ethylene, the ripening gas. The XtendFRESH system is a solution integrated into the cooling unit. Until now, so-called ethylene scrubbers were installed in the container. “They would only keep for one journey and then had to be renewed. That involves costs and is laborious in handling,” says Michaela Steineker.

This article originally appeared in the July-August 2015 edition, number 138, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read it here: http://www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/138-2015-julaug