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DSV acquires Panalpina to become world’s 4th largest freight firm

DSV acquires Panalpina to become world’s 4th largest freight firm

Danish logistics company DSV is to take over the Swiss company Panalpina for US$4.6 billion in a bid to consolidate its position in the transport sector. According to Reuters, DSV is seeking to broaden his company’s global reach and cut costs. With the addition of Panalpina, DSV will become the world’s fourth-largest freight-forwarding company, behind DHL Logistics, Kuehne & Nagel and DB Schenker. DSV expects to be able to integrate Panalpina within two to three years and is confident that the takeover will be approved by the competition watchdog.

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Primafrio reinforces its position in the fruit and vegetable market with new logistic platform

Primafrio reinforces its position in the fruit and vegetable market with new logistic platform

The Primafrio Group was founded over 50 years ago with a very clear vocation: to be a global player in refrigerated land transportation, guaranteeing a comprehensive quality service to its customers. In order to maintain a quality service, Primafrio has five logistics bases distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

The firm’s headquarters, located in Alhama de Murcia, is equipped with the most modern information and communications systems and workshops. It has its own service station with 18 pumps, rest areas for drivers, a restaurant and a cafeteria. The base has a 15,000m2 fully refrigerated logistics warehouse with 106 loading and unloading docks. This allows the development of a groupage service as well as greater control over the temperature of the products passing through the warehouse .

The company reaches 25 European destinations, with daily routes to different countries such as Germany, Denmark and the UK, always ensuring the traceability and correct delivery of all merchandise.

In the last two years, Grupo Primafrio has increased its movements to Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the increase in demand for fruit and vegetable transport and the groupage services.

The newly created company, Primavia, is the result of a partnership between Primafrio and a subsidiary of the French railways (SNCF). The project is aimed at the future need for multimodal transport, using rail as a complement for traditional transportation.

Within this strategy, Primafrio considers that technological innovation combined with continuous training of employees is essential for providing a better service to its customers.

Primafrio maintains a fast and agile capacity to respond to the demands of its customers thanks to its ability to move large volumes of cargo while ensuring a high level of service.

Thanks to its live tracking equipment, the company constantly monitors the position, fuel consumption and driving times of its fleet of vehicles, while also monitoring and controlling at all times the temperature at which the refrigeration equipment of each trailer is programmed, thus guaranteeing the cold chain.

The Primafrio Group is a leader in transporting berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries), concentrating most of its fleet in Huelva between February and July. This leadership position is evidenced by its transporting an average of over one million kilos of fruit daily, from Huelva to all of Europe.

Moreover, the company has the GDP certification that enables it to distribute medicines for human use, and for the transport of pharmaceutical products and road medicines.

One of the commitments of Grupo Primafrio is to comply with the highest standards of environmental care and protection. For this reason, it has set in motion various actions, such as raising awareness of the environment among its personnel, the activation of an environmental audit to identify areas that may be improved, the calculation of its carbon footprint, and the equipping of Euro VI engines in all of its vehicles. These are systems that reduce atmospheric emissions and consumption

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New port call in Pecem for fruit en route to Europe

Fruit shippers will benefit from a new port call in Brazil this year, thanks to an additional call announced by MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has announced a new port call in Brazil which it says will benefit fruit shippers.

From the start of this August to the end of January next year, its South America East Coast/North Europe service (NWC-SAEC I) will include a last port call at Pecem, in the state of Ceará, before sailing to Europe.

“The period coincides with the peak fruit season, and will be of particular interest for exporters of melons. Main destinations for this commodity, and other fruits exported on this route are Rotterdam and other ports in North Europe.

“Transit times from Pecem with direct calls: Antwerp 10 days / Rotterdam 12 days / Hamburg 14 days / Bremrehaven 16 days / Le Havre 18 days,” it said.



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AGRO Merchants Group expands Rotterdam facility

AGRO Merchants Group has recently completed a significant expansion in Rotterdam which adds 6,000 pallet positions and brings greater capacity and services to customers in the fresh produce sector.

AGRO Merchants Group, a provider of cold storage and logistics solutions, has announced a significant expansion in Rotterdam which it says will reinforce its services to the fresh produce sector.

In a press release, it said ADB Cool Company, part of AGRO Merchants Group since 2015, officially opened its new facility expansion in October 2016.

“The expansion adds 13 loading bays and 6,000 pallet positions, bringing the site to a capacity of 23,198 pallet positions. This expansion enhances the company’s repacking capabilities through a substantial investment in new facilities, equipment and technology.

“The facility is strategically located near the Port of Rotterdam, which is the busiest port in Europe with an annual throughput of approximately 465 million tons.”

ADB managing director Alex de Brujin said the expanded facilities will allow the company to “further support the fresh produce sector and meet the increasing demands of our clients for storage, packing, ripening and all the other services we offer.”

Other recently completed AGRO Merchants projects include facility expansions in Spain at the Port of Algeciras and in Vineland, NJ serving the Port of Philadelphia and new greenfield sites in Houston, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia.

AGRO Merchants Group owns and operates 55 facilities in 8 countries across North America, Latin America and Europe, with more than 750,000 m2 of cold storage.

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Record freight volume for port of Antwerp

For the first time, the Port of Antwerp’s shipping container volume has risen above 10 million TEU

The port of Antwerp is set to end 2016 having handled a record volume of more than 214 million tons of freight.

And for the first time in its history, the shipping container volume has risen above 10 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units, i.e. standard containers), the port said in a press release.

“Liquid bulk is also showing year-on-year expansion and with an estimated volume of just under 70 million tons it’s the second main foundation on which freight growth in Antwerp is based.

“There are positive figures also in the conventional breakbulk and dry bulk sectors, although overall the totals for both segments are negative. The continuing trend towards containerisation has depressed the volumes of, among other things, fruit and paper.

“Meanwhile the volumes of coal and ore have fallen drastically in all North-West European ports,” it said.

Containers and breakbulk

The container volume rose 4.1% over the past 12 months and is expected to end the year at just under 118 million tons. In terms of the number of containers, this represents more than 10 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), a 4.2% increase.

“With these excellent growth figures Antwerp has further expanded its market share in the Hamburg – Le Havre range. Antwerp has also managed to considerably improve its position in the Far East trade over the past few years, at the expense of its direct competitors Rotterdam and Hamburg.

“The situation among international container shipping companies has altered dramatically in the past few years, with companies entering into collaboration and forming alliances in order to achieve cost savings and efficiencies of scale.

“In 2017 the shipping scene will be dominated by 2M, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance, making it more important than ever for ports to secure their place in the respective sailing schedules. So far Antwerp has managed very well in this respect.

“In the meantime the ro/ro volume has declined by 1.9%, totalling 4.56 million tons at the end of the 12-month period. This negative result is due to the performance on the export side, as ro/ro exports to Africa and the Near East are down 15% and 18% respectively. In fact exports to all countries around the Persian Gulf have dipped.

On the import side, however, the ro/ro volume is up by 9.5%.

“The conventional breakbulk volume for its part contracted by 2.4%, ending the year at 9.76 million tons. Steel on the other hand experienced strong growth of 12%, but the lower volumes of non-ferrous metals, paper & cellulose and fruit meant that the amount of conventional breakbulk was down overall,” it said.

Seagoing ships

The number of seagoing ships calling at Antwerp rose by 0.7% in 2016: by 31 December a total of 14,523 ships are expected to have visited Antwerp. Apart from the increased number of ships, the growth in gross tonnage is up 9.5% to 402.6 million GT.

“This figure illustrates well how ships visiting Antwerp are getting bigger and bigger: in 2016 Antwerp welcomed 458 container carriers of 13,000 TEU or more, whereas last year the number in this category was only 320,” the port said.

It said the above freight figures are provisional, with definitive ones expected in the second half of January.

Source of images and information: Port of Antwerp

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Mercadona to build its main warehouse in Valencia

Mercadona said that what it refers to as its new “main regulating warehouse” will in turn supply the company’s other warehouses across Spain, ensuring the necessary stocks of all types of products, regardless of their origin and final destination.

Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has chosen a business park in in Sagunto, Valencia, for a new logistics block.

It said Parc Sagunt’s strategic location makes it one of the best options for the company’s main warehouse, which will be built in stages and in time supply Mercadona’s entire logistics network.

In a press release on December 7, Mercadona announced its €24 million offer for a 358,270 m2 plot in the park had been accepted by the park owners.

“This new project will allow us to increase our productivity and optimise the efficiency of the rest of our warehouses, in aid of achieving our objective, which is to continue to transport more and more, using fewer resources,” said Mercadona’s managing director of logistics Oriol Montanyà.

Map image ©2016 Google, Inst Geogr. Nacional

Mercadona said that what it refers to as its new “main regulating warehouse” will in turn supply the company’s other warehouses across Spain, ensuring the necessary stocks of all types of products, regardless of their origin and final destination.

Mercadona’s logistics network currently consists of 13 logistics blocks and 3 satellite warehouses.

Mercadona’s logistics block in Abrera, Barcelona (source: Mercadona)

In 2007, it opted for a new warehouse model and an “intelligent, innovative and fully automated logistics block.”

The company foresees replicating the intelligent warehousing model in the new logistics block in order to avoid unnecessary handling, strain and accident risk for employees while increasing productivity.

As at October 28, Mercadona had more than 1,600 stores in Spain, having opened 32 new supermarkets this year.

It has inaugurated 32 new supermarkets in 2016 and refurbished a further 28 stores to adapt them to its ‘atmosphere store’ model.

Mercadona closed 2015 with revenue of €20.8 billion, a 3% increase on the previous year, and with profit of €611 million, up 12%.

It is expanding to Portugal, where it plans to open four supermarkets in 2019 with an initial investment of €25 million.

Source of images other than map: Mercadona 

Read more articles about Mercadona here.


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Emmi, Stef form joint logistics network in Switzerland

European cold logistics specialist Stef and leading Swiss milk processor Emmi have agreed to create a joint logistics and distribution network dedicated to refrigerated food products (+2°C / +4°C).

European cold logistics specialist Stef and leading Swiss milk processor Emmi have agreed to create a joint logistics and distribution network dedicated to refrigerated food products (+2°C / +4°C).

In a press release, they said the move will strengthen and extend the two existing networks, with the main objective being a supply chain meeting the quality requirements of Swiss manufacturers for both domestic distribution and European exports.

In Switzerland, Stef currently offers logistics services dedicated to frozen food. “The setting up of this partnership with the logistics business unit of Emmi Group will help Stef strengthen its position on the logistics market for refrigerated food products. In return, the logistics arm of Emmi Group will benefit from the expertise of a global logistics operator and from a connection to a large European network.

The logistics business unit of Emmi distributes well-known brands, on top of its own products.”

“By combining their skills and expertise, Emmi and Stef will now offer to the Swiss market a complete range of high quality solutions for refrigerated food products. Joint services cover all logistics and supply chain management services, including pick-up, cross-docking, handling, hauling, storage, co-packing additional services, groupage and unbundling, distribution, management of re-usable crates, return and after-sales services, customs clearance (import/export). In total, 700 employees will work for the Emmi-Stef network.”

“The current logistics infrastructures of Stef and Emmi, which process more than 2 million pallets a year, will be reinforced with the future Stef centerpiece warehouse in Switzerland: the Kölliken site to be commissioned in September 2017, a 90,000 m3 dual warehouse (negative cold -25°C and positive cold +2°C / +4°C).”

Photo: from left to right: Pierre-Alain Frossard (Director of Stef Switzerland), Max Peter (Director Trade & Supply Chain Management of Emmi Group), Séverine Demange (European Key Account Manager of Stef), Stanislas Lemor (Deputy C.E.O. of Stef), Robert Muri (Executive Vice President Switzerland of Emmi Group), Serge Capitaine (Deputy C.E.O. of Stef), Giovanni Aprile (Corporate Strategic Key Account Director of Stef).


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Produce speeds to Europe via sea-air transshipment in Miami

Crowley vice president Nelly Yunta is reported as saying the new service will be able to move perishable shipments to Europe in 4-5 days, allowing consumers to enjoy the fruit and vegetables at optimal freshness. There are hopes to later expand to more commodities and countries.

Fresh fruit and vegetables from Central America will reach Europe and Asia faster under a pioneer programme using Florida as an ocean-to-air transhipment hub.

The new alternative to sea-air transshipment through Dubai is being launched by Crowley Maritime Corp.and its customs brokerage subsidiary Customized Brokers.

According to American Shipper, the intermodal program – said to be the first known sea-air transshipment service in the US – aims to save shippers time and money and got a US government green light last month.

The pilot programme will see Customized Brokers coordinate the ocean shipment of fruit and vegetables from Guatemala and Honduras on Crowley vessels to Port Everglades, from where it will be trucked to Miami International Airport (MIA) for loading on KLM or Centurion Cargo freighters to Europe.

Crowley vice president Nelly Yunta is reported as saying the new service will be able to move perishable shipments to Europe in 4-5 days, allowing consumers to enjoy the fruit and vegetables at optimal freshness. There are hopes to later expand to more commodities and countries.

American Shipper reports Yunta said it took Florida-based Customized Brokers, in partnership with MIA officials, two years to get US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) approval because of concerns about potential pest infestation during the highway leg.

Measures introduced to address those concerns include packing pallets with insect-proof mesh and monitoring shipments from the farm until take-off in Miami, it said.

The process is said to be similar to one Customized Brokers uses for its air-land intermodal service for shipping asparagus from Peru through Miami and onto Canada by truck.

Peruvian asparagus service image above:
Image of ship at top:

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Barcelona: a port of reference for international logistics

Due to its excellent service, several international shipping companies have made a firm commitment to the Catalan port, designating it as the last stopover to load their ships, especially those destined for long-distance fruit export.

Until recently, Spanish fruit companies saw Europe as the main market focus, but the economic crisis and blockade on deliveries to Russia and other factors have created a new scenario forcing many companies to reassess and diversify their markets.

In this vein, the Port of Barcelona facilitates external trade for companies in the region, as shown by its traffic. Until 2007, the main volume of fresh produce traffic via the Catalan port was in imports, above all from the Southern Hemisphere with citrus at the forefront.

Since then, its fruit traffic in exports has seen great growth, almost reaching the same level as imports. “Exports continue to grow and the Port of Barcelona facilitates this process,” said the head of promotion at the Port Community, Manuel Galán.

With nearly 100 regular lines connecting the Catalan capital directly to over 200 ports on the five continents, Barcelona is the top port in the country for international traffic.

“The quality of Spanish fruit is appreciated in areas such as the Middle East. This is why we have a high frequency of voyages available, whether direct or with stopovers, with a transit time of 12 to 14 days,” Galán said. 

Furthermore, the close collaboration between the Port of Barcelona and the Italian shipping company Grimaldi is reflected in a wide range of short sea shipping services. An example of this is the increased connection between Barcelona and Porto Torres, which Galán said has made Mercabarna one of the main suppliers for Sardinia. 

“Our aim is to position ourselves as the main distribution hub in southern Europe. To do so, in the sphere of fresh produce we have a strategic partner in Mercabarna, the main wholesale market in Catalonia, which enables us to provide a competitive service tailored to our clients,” he said.

Common interests and aims have led to this solid alliance between Mercabarna and the Port of Barcelona, which in turn has led them to participate together in the major fairs in the sector such as Fruit Attraction in Madrid and Fruit Logisitica in Berlin, where they exhibit in a trio along with the Italian shipping company Grimaldi. 

In addition, the Port of Barcelona is working in collaboration with Mercabarna, Barcelona City Council and the company Ecoenergies on a project using the residual cooling generated by the regasification of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to provide industrial cooling for Mercabarna’s refrigeration installations.

“This centralised cold network will enable CO2 emissions to be reduced as well as savings in energy and costs,” Galán said. GNL’s commitment to the Port of Barcelona also includes supplying this fuel to ships, trucks and port machinery in order to offer a competitive, sustainable alternative to their clients, as well as a more environmentally friendly energy solution. 

This article was originally published on page 37 of edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more from that issue online here: 

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Lidl to build 40 new stores in Spain

German supermarket giant Lidl says it is planning the construction of 40 new stores in Spain as part of a record investment of €350 million in the country this year, a third higher than that of 2015.

German supermarket giant Lidl says it is planning the construction of 40 new stores in Spain as part of a record investment of €350 million in the country this year, a third higher than that of 2015.

Lidl’s chief financial officer in Spain Ferran Figueras said the discount chain’s commitment to Spain is stronger than ever. “We are confident we still have much potential to keep growing and winning market share, which is why we will continue to open new stores in order to reach more and more Spanish households.”

Lidl will continue working to maintain its business strategy and keep offering Spanish consumers the cheapest prices without skimping on the quality of all its products, he said.

In a press release, Lidl said the construction of the new stores is aimed at increasing its presence in areas in which the company is not yet present and at modernising and expanding its store network.

New logistics platforms, more jobs

It also said that in order to address the significant increase in sales it has seen in recent years and ensure sustainable growth in the future, it is planning new logistics facilities.

This September will see the first phase of what will be Lidl’s tenth logistics platform in Spain – located in Alcala de Henares – come into operation.

Lidl said that in order to further increase its logistics infrastructure, it recently acquired a 122,000 m2 site in Cheste, in Valencia.

And in addition to more than 1,200 new jobs in 2015, Lidl said it plans to create a further 800 new jobs this year in order to consolidate its strategy of expansion and of “offering consumers products of the highest quality at the best price.”