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New partnership between ports of Antwerp and Guangzhou

The Port of Antwerp said the twinning agreement also dovetails perfectly with the ‘One Belt One Road’ philosophy announced by China in 2013 which aims to improve connections between the main Chinese industrial cities and trade centres elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Antwerp, the second-largest port in Europe, and Guangzhou, number 8 in the world, are to collaborate more closely under a twinning agreement signed on December 10 in the Chinese port city.

The two cities had already had a close relationship as under an agreement signed in 2010 between Guangzhou and the Port of Antwerp training centre APEC, various groups of shipping professionals from the Guangzhou port  have attended tailor-made courses at APEC. The twinning agreement will take the relationship between the ports to a new level and, among other things, include commercial collaboration.

For instance, there are currently two shipping services between North-West Europe and China calling at Guangzhou and Antwerp. “By developing a joint marketing approach the respective port authorities aim to get both ports included in several more loops,” the Port of Antwerp said in a press release.

Also, in collaboration with APEC and three other partners, a joint training institute under the name of Guangzhou-Antwerp Port Training & Consultancy Co. Ltd will be set up to offer courses in port operations for professionals from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Other action points in the twinning agreement include the exchange of information on port development and best practices for sustainable enterprise in a port environment.

The Port of Antwerp said the twinning agreement also dovetails perfectly with the ‘One Belt One Road’ philosophy announced by China in 2013 which aims to improve connections between the main Chinese industrial cities and trade centres elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

It also said there are strong similarities between the ports of Antwerp and Guangzhou, both of which are located quite a long distance inland and multifunctional ports with excellent trimodal connections with a rich hinterland.

With an annual freight volume of 510 million tons including 16.63 million TEU, Guangzhou is one of the main container ports in China, acting mainly for transshipment of fuel stuffs, raw materials and commercial goods.

Image of Guangzhou skyline by jo.sau (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Logistics Hub to make its debut at Fruit Logistica 2016

Supply chains are becoming longer and more complicated, sometimes spanning several continents. The right choice of logistic services can determine whether or not a fresh produce consignment can be sold.

Logistics Hub is a new three-day series of events focused on fresh produce handling and logistics that will be held at Fruit Logistica, February 3-5 2016.

According to a press release by the event organisers, the sessions will address ten current issues relating to the logistics chain. It is where “producers, exporters and traders will find the information they need to help them take the right logistic decisions when it comes to transporting their goods.”

Alex von Stempel, an independent consultant in fresh produce logistics has designed and organised Logistics Hub and will moderate the event, to be held in the CityCube Berlin, Hall B, Stand C-04.

Session topics include:

  • Strategic Cold Chain Investments and examining new Outsourcing Potential
  • Reefer Claims: Addressing a Classic Clash of Interests
  • Focusing on the First Mile: Country and Produce Case Study Africa
  • Focusing on the First Mile: Country and Produce Case Study Latin America
  • Frozen Vegetables – Opportunities, Challenges and Threats
  • ‘Anything, anywhere, anytime’: What does this mean for the fresh produce sector?

For more detail: http://www.fruitlogistica.de/es/Prensa/ComunicadosDePrensa/News_18762.html?referrer=/es/Prensa/ComunicadosDePrensa/#news-en-18762

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The Belgian port of Antwerp is headed for a record year

Antwerp Port Authority reports steady growth in the volume of container freight (up 8.0% in TEU and 5.4% in tonnage) and of liquid bulk (up 7.9%).

The port of Antwerp is on track to close 2015 with a total volume of 200 million tons of freight handled after hitting 156.5 million tons in the first nine months of this year, up 5.5% on the same period last year.

In a press release, the Antwerp Port Authority also said there has also been steady growth in the volume of container freight (up 8.0% in TEU and 5.4% in tonnage) and of liquid bulk (up 7.9%).

source: Port of Antwerp

Containers and breakbulk

Expressed in TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units, i.e. standard containers) the port’s container volume was 7.26 million TEU for January-September, 8.0% above that for the same months last year. In terms of tonnage the volume came to 85,478,483 tons (up 5.4%).

It said that despite declining volumes on trading routes to and from the Far East, in Asian trade the port managed to close the first nine months of 2015 with growth of 6.2%.

In conventional breakbulk, the port had handled 7.3 million tons by the end of September. This was a 1.8% drop in volume and something the authority said was due to “the increasing containerisation of fruit and the consequent fall in conventional handling.”

source: Port of Antwerp

Other key figures:

  • Ro/ro volume: up 2.5% to 3.46 million tons
  • Iron & steel volume: up 2.4% to 4.98 million tons
  • No. of cars handled: down 9.7% to 825,312 vehicles​
     
  • Liquid bulk volume: up 7.9% to 49.8 million tons
  • Oil derivatives: up 4.6% to 35.3 million tons
  • Chemicals: up 23.7% to 10.7 million tons
     
  • Dry bulk: up 2.4% to 10.5 million tons
  • Sand and gravel: up 27.7% to 1.26 million tons
  • Coal: up 12.8% to 1.33 million tons

Seagoing ships

A total of 10,786 seagoing ships have called at the port of Antwerp in the last nine months, 2.5% more than in the same period last year. The gross tonnage rose 7.7% to 271 million GT.

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Optimistic outlook at 7th Cool Logistics Global Conference

The 7th Cool Logistics Global Conference covered issues in the cooled logistics of perishables ranging from the importance of tracking and tracing to improved schedule reliability.

On the first day of the 7th Cool Logistics Global Conference – held September 29 to October 1 in the Belgian city of Brugge – a broad range of topics surrounding the cooled logistics of perishables was discussed, ranging from changing consumer preferences via the importance of tracking and tracing to improved schedule reliability and a lot in between.

The overall outlook was one of optimism. The expectations for the logistics industry are not as bad as some may think. Paul Bosch, supply chain analyst of Food and Agriculture at Rabobank – financer of 85% of Dutch agricultural companies – said the future appears bright for cold. “Growth rates look pretty good, making the rest of the food market jealous.” The key driver for this process being the increasing penetration of cell phones and refrigerators in developing countries, he said.

That observation was shared by Jan Debaillie, director of Group Logistics at Ardo Group, a Belgian producer of high quality frozen vegetables, fruit, pasta and rice which controls its total supply chain. “We see the categories fresh and frozen grow, not so much in Europe but overseas. Specifically, frozen organic foods in the USA are growing very fast, doubling volumes,” Debaillie said.

Changing customers

Bosch agreed that growth in Europe is low and leading to a switch from volume to value. And where is the value? It appears to become more difficult to get to know the customer. Bosch identified 5 different types of customers that will play an important  role in the market in the coming 10 years. One is the “convenience customer” who doesn’t want to wait and doesn’t want to pay extra but who will drive logistical changes.

Online purchases will be important in this consumer profile. “We are at a turning point where online purchases take away market share from retail and supermarkets,” Bosch said. This process calls for other logistics, a need for greater flexibility and new packaging solutions. In other words, this is a growth area for logistics all the more since a huge increase in frozen sales is expected because those products are easier to deliver to homes.

In this respect, Joachim Coens, President – CEO of the Port of Zeebrugge, said the 21st century is bringing a lot of changes. One of these is the changing consumer. The global buying power defers and that leads to layered demand which needs to be facilitated. Coens sees a clear task for ports in this process. “The role of the port is to bring people together and facilitate. We also have a role in intermodal activity.”

Technological solutions and trends in logistics

Tracking and tracing is important in the timing of onions, said Chayenne Wiskerke, managing director of Wiskerke Onions, the leading Dutch packer and exporter of onions. Its onions are exported to 90 countries across the globe and mainly transported by reefer containers. Wiskerke Onions developed a customised system giving its customers traceability on demand. This real time system, accessible via an app, informs them of the whereabouts and quality of the product. “This tool is a great help with customers of different languages and far-away markets,” Wiskerke said. She also predicted continuous growth in global demand for onions which offers potential for the future of the reefer sector.

Apart from technology, Debaillie signaled other changes in the logistics process. “The logistical lines are as short as possible with less logistical partners.” Moreover, retail distributions centres are changing their policies towards keeping products in stock. “There is less stock in the DC’s, (so they are) asking for shorter lead times and making the supplier more logistical providers than traders,” Debaillie said.

Shipping industry positive

It was not only the producers buoyed about good prospects at the Cool Logistics conference, the shipping industry had positive news to share, as well. “We are not so desperate,” said Alexis Michel, vice president of Group Logistics and Reefer at CMA CGM. “The shipping industry is one of the fastest growing industries with good growth predictions.” Behind this optimism is the fact that the worldwide economy is still growing and the US and Chinese markets are still strong. Michel expects the main market will continue to go west and shared that bigger vessels are becoming the standard.

This observations caused Nigel Jenney, CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium, to call for teamwork to help get produce out of containers as soon as possible because unloading takes longer with larger vessels and reduces shelf life. “It is important to work together and know what is inside the container,” Jenney said.

Drewry Supply Chain Advisors director Philip Damas highlighted the speed and efficiency in reefer maritime supply chains. Slow steaming and transshipment services have lengthened transit times for reefer containers. Specialised reefer ships remain faster. Although leaving room for improvement, the schedule reliability of containers has improved to about 70% on most routes. Damas added that for reefer ships there are no figures but the reliability is most likely to be higher. Both speed and reliability do not appear to be the key focal points in the logistical process as containerisation continues its march. Drewry expects containerisation to rise to 82% by 2018.

MW

Images courtesy of Cool Logistics Global: http://coollogisticsresources.com/global/

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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

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Linking the Mediterranean with Northern America

In February 2015, the Grimaldi Group shipping company launched a new direct maritime service between Civitavecchia and the North American Ports of Baltimore and Halifax for the transport of cars and other rolling cargo.

The Grimaldi Group shipping company began 2015 with big news: as of February it launched a new direct maritime service between Civitavecchia and the North American Ports of Baltimore and Halifax for the transport of cars and other rolling cargo. The new link is the first direct and regular service between the Mediterranean and North America for the ro-ro carrier sector.

And in Jamuary, Grimaldi had also strengthened the connection between Savona and Barcelona that has become a daily service thanks to deployment of the M/V Ro/Pax “Florencia” that has been added to the 4 “Eurocargo” units which already serve the line.

From 6th July, Grimaldi will launch a new standard service between Brindisi, Igoumenitsa and Corfu adding to the service already offered throughout the year between Brindisi, Igoumenitsa and Patras.

In February, Grimaldi Group improved the Brindisi-Greece service thanks to the employment of the M/V Euroferry Olympia and Euroferry Egnazia, able to carry up to 3,200 lm and with a cargo capacity of 200 ro-ro units and 600 passengers. The Ravenna–Greece direct link joined the already operational transhipment connection, thus increasing the number of departures from Ravenna to Igoumenitsa and Patras to 5 a week.

Due to changes in the market, the Grimaldi Group has also decided to meet demand from the market by modifying the previous Rostock-Helsinki itinerary and introducing the harbour of Hanko to the line. Indeed, as of January, there are now 2 connections from Rostock to Hanko and vice versa and 2 connections from Rostock to Helsinki and vice versa.

In order to face the big challenges of 2015, Finnlines, the company serving the Baltic market and of the Grimaldi Group, has decided to invest in eco-friendly technologies on which it is spending about €65 million. Grimaldi Group is a leader in the maritime transport of cars and all ro-ro vehicles with one of the biggest fleets in the world of roro/multipurpose vessels and car carriers.

The fleet today consists of more than 100 vessels. The vessels are ro-ro/multipurpose, Pure Car and Truck Carrier, Cruise Ferry and High Speed Ferries. The current maritime connections operated by the group serve more than 120 ports in 47 countries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Western Africa, North and South America.

Nowadays the Motorways of the Sea Network in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas alone is made up of 100 maritime lines operated by Grimaldi, Minoan, Finnlines and Malta Motorways of the Sea for the transport of cars, trailers, trucks and passengers. 

MV

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Africans tour Philadelphia Port as new season fruit arrives

Holt and African Delegation - Edited

On the eve of the start of the African fruit season, in which perishable summer commodities originated on the continent begin to arrive on shores in the US, a delegation from several African nations has visited the Port of Philadelphia.

Holt Logistics Corp said that as part of their historic visit and participation in the African Business Roundtable at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, dignitaries from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, and Tanzania toured facilities at Gloucester Marine Terminal to learn about the numerous quality initiatives and processes utilised by the company. 

Additionally, the delegation discussed potential expansion of trade partnerships that will come as a result of the proposed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) currently before the US congress, Holt said in a press release dated June 15.

The first vessel of the 2015 South Africa fruit season arrived this morning at the Gloucester Marine Terminal. The Lapponian Reefer, a specialised refrigerated cargo ship discharged approximately 3,600 pallets of fresh oranges from the Western Cape of South Africa. The cargo arrived under the strict guidance of 360 Quality, an international shipping association dedicated to ensuring quality and safety in supply chain management for perishable fruits and vegetables, it also said.

“This visit of the delegation of West African leaders is timely in many ways,” said Peter Inskeep, general manager of the Gloucester Marine Terminal. “The beginning of the Summer Citrus season has created a heightened interest and awareness in developing nations of the value of fast, dedicated and direct transport of food products. We are also eager to share best practices in food handling and production with these potentially very important trade partners in support of AGOA, which will greatly increase commodities traffic between our two continents. Holt Logistics Corp is foundational terminal operator member of the 360 Quality Initiative, and we look forward to sharing a framework that can be transposed onto the many high quality food products that reach the North American Market through the Delaware River Ports.”

Holt and African Delegation - Edited (1).jpg

In the photo: (left to right): Sander Daniel, Global Marketing, Holt Logistics Corp; The Honorable Thulisile Mathula Nkosi, Consul General, Republic of South Africa; Florizelle B. Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa; His Excellency Joseph Henry Smith, Ambassador, The Republic of Ghana; Leo A. Holt, president, Holt Logistics Corp; His Excellency Daouda Diabate, Ambassador, The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; His Excellency Limbiye E. Kadangha Bariki, Ambassador, The Republic of Togo; Her Excellency Lily Munanka, Ambassador, Republic of Tanzania; and His Excellency Api Assoumatine, Togolese Ambassador to Ghana.

source: Holt Logistics Corp

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C.H. Robinson marks 25 years of business in Mexico

The strategic importance of being located in Mexico is underlined by C.H. Robinson’s celebration this month of a quarter of a century of business operations there.

The strategic importance of being located in Mexico is underlined by C.H. Robinson’s celebration this month of a quarter of a century of business operations there.

The company said in a press release that over the years, trade between the US and Mexico has become increasingly important. “Mexico continues to play a vital role across global supply chains due to the country’s business culture, educated workforce, and proximity to the United States,” it said in a press release.

A global provider of multimodal logistics services, fresh produce sourcing, and information services, C.H. Robinson also said its presence in Mexico “is bolstered by global freight forwarding and over a century of fresh produce expertise.”

Director of the Mexico region, Mike Burkhart, said customers rely on the company’s “experience and cultural knowledge, confidence, and unmatched expertise to accelerate their success in Mexico.”

“We look forward many more years of collaborating with our customers and deepening our value proposition in this growing region,” he said.

C.H. Robinson has more than 200 bilingual employees in 10 offices in Mexico and along the border between the US and Mexico. Founded in 1905, it now provides services to 46,000 customers globally through a network of more than 280 offices and has about 11,000 employees worldwide, working with 66,000 transportation providers. Its revenue last year was $13.5 billion.

 

Mexico map with flag image by Jaimiko (public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

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Banana sector logistics and challenges

Screenshot 2015-03-25 at 13

Shipping alliances to play a leading role

Shipping companies plying the banana export routes now also have to deal with the challenge of cutting costs in the face of falling ocean freight rates. Forging alliances will be a strong strategy to maintain competitive edge. One of the most important has been put forward by Maersk and MSC, with an alliance likely to move around a third of all banana cargoes through the world’s most heavily trafficked trade routes, which will bring enormous benefits, including a substantial reduction in operating costs.

Maersk proposes merger strategies

“You need to think inside the box”, says Thomas Eskesen, Reefer Ship Managing Director from Maersk Line, one of the leading companies in the sector, operating in 252 ports worldwide, in 75 countries. Eskesen has analysed the challenges faced in an increasingly demanding world, where consumers expect very high standards in terms of the quality and speed with which produce reaches them. In this sense, he noted that in Maersk there is still room for improvement in some areas, while new services and tools need to be incorporated in order to stay competitive, although they do have interesting strategies to achieve this. “It’s not only about defence, but also playing offensively; you need to unite in order to expand.” He explains that this way of “thinking inside the box” means that it is necessary to examine ways to improve the company “from the inside”, considering all the resources available and the information to hand. “Today we are trying to identify the root of the problem, attempting to analyse the data that we have and solve the problem along with the client we provide our services to, working together with a common goal, which is the only way to keep the customer satisfied”, adds Eskesen.

Port of Antwerp is strategic entry point for banana in Europe

The main port of entry in Europe for Ecuadorian bananas is Antwerp in Belgium, located very close to the three major fruit consumer markets on the continent (Rungis, Venlo and Duisburg). Representative Germán Calderón explains how “72 hours before the ship’s arrival, the process of releasing the goods begins and, within 24 hours of unloading, the produce is ready for delivery to any of these three big markets, unlike the Port of Rotterdam, which moreover suffers congestion issues, so much so that this year a significant percentage of vessels which used to dock there had to do so in Antwerp.” He also mentioned that the arrival of the fruit through Belgium allows delivery of the produce between 6 and 12 hours faster than if it was channelled through any other port in northern Europe.

New opportunities in banana route to Russia

On the other hand, Russia, with steadily growing per capita annual consumption in recent years, represented a great opportunity for the Ecuadorian banana sector, which has enjoyed a growing share in this market and is now the leading banana exporter to this country. The fruit is mostly traded and shipped in refrigerated containers and mainly enters through the port of St. Petersburg. Forecasts for 2015 point to 41% growth in banana uptake by Russian traders, equivalent to 10.6 kg of banana annually per capita. Vasiliy Shultsev, Sales and Marketing Manager for Global Ports, notes that “the port of St. Petersburg has special facilities for handling this commodity. We handle all transport of the product, even to the remotest locations in Russia, ensuring that the quality is maintained.”

More routes with the Mediterranean

The Marseille-based company is also strengthening its web of routes between southern Europe/Morocco and northern Europe/Russia, on which it uses 1300 reefer boxes. CGA-CGM already owned MacAndrews, acquired in 2002, and has just bought OPDR – which operates similar shortsea services, particularly from Morocco, the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula – from the German shipowner Bernhard Schulte. “This increases our capacity and our commercial strength,” highlighted Michel, “allowing us to develop services that can compete with road transport. Even if our rotation is less flexible than with HGVs, our ships offer cheaper and more environmentally-friendly solutions.” Sea freight currently accounts for 10% of Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports, for instance. At the close of 2014, OPDR should have carried over 240,000 TEU and MacAndrews over 290,000. CGACGM, which carries 10% of the world’s reefer traffic, will have turnover of $16 billion this year (€13 billion), slightly up on last year “although our margins are lower owing to market pressure,” Michel pointed out. CGA-CGM handles the rotation of 10.6 million TEU (traditional and reefer) around the world, in 1.54 million containers carried by 429 ships, 83 of them owned by the company, serving 450 ports of call in 150 countries.

NV
 
 

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How to tackle the risks in perishables transport

Screenshot 2015-03-09 at 19

Produce quality more important than carriage factors for good shelf-life.

Cooling and carriage factors clearly are not the only aspects that can lead to waste. The weather during cultivation, crop husbandry, grade at harvest, post-harvest handling, the type of packaging and pre-cooling all play their own role in the quality and storability of the product. As Alex Schenz put it at the 6th Cool Logistics Conference, “The container is not a hospital, if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.”

Yet in terms of carriage factors, there are many aspects to control. Humidity management can prevent mold or wet cartons, as Leo Lukasse, a climate control specialist from Wageningen University, highlighted at the conference.

Another point of concern are periods without power during transportation. German expert in ocean transport and reefer containers Yves Wild said power-off periods seem to be increasing because operations take more time due to reefers getting larger and larger. A connected reefer would be able to supply real-time information on the situation, thus reducing cargo loss and costs.

Michael Dempsey, sales and marketing vice president at WAM Technologies in the US, said such technology already exists but various parties throughout the chain are reluctant to invest in it as they would not be the only party to benefit and it still is unclear who would own the data collected. Yet a lot is to be gained from connectivity – visibility, monitoring, compliance and security – which would lead to a return on investment.

Reefer container trade: bright spots and financial challenges

Although it seems clear that the reefer containers are definitively taking the lead over conventional reefer shipping where perishable transportation is concerned, that does not mean the industry is not facing challenges.

As Thomas Eskesen, global head of refrigerated business with Maersk Line, showed during his presentation at the conference, carrier results have not been sustainable for a long time. They dropped below the level of generally accepted margins since the beginning of 2011 and have remained there ever since, even dipping into the negative figures for prolonged periods.

This has left the industry with serious financial challenges. At the same time, a compound annual growth rate (cagr) for reefer containers of 6.5% is reported with prospects for further growth. Where the reefer container share was 72.3% in 2013, it is predicted to reach 79.8% in 2018, according to Alexis Michel, CMA CGM’s senior vice president of logistics and reefers. Yet he, too, expressed concerns about profitability versus investment in the reefer container fleet and the need for better operating margins.

Growth in perishables trade

However, according to figures from the Seabury Group, there are bright spots on the horizon, too. A shift in transportation is noticeable, with a move away from air towards ocean trade, particularly in containers. Indeed two thirds of the global perishables’ ocean volume is in containers. In Europe and Africa in particular, there seems to be more room for further growth in containers, the Seabury Group believes. Volume-wise, it is the short distance trade that is the most significant and it is also this that is seeing the fastest growth. A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% is forecast for trade in perishables between 2013-2018. The Asian Pacific region, with an expected CAGR of 6%, is the main driver of growth.

Increased demand for value–services

Both Maersk and CMA-CGM have also observed that reefer customers are demanding increased service. This had lead Maersk to introduce a vast toolbox to both improve service and lower costs. In the toolbox, services such as network rationalisation, speed equalisation and slow steaming, inland optimisation and much more can be found. The end result should be lower network costs, improved products and lower CO2 emissions. What it should not lead to is one single service for all customers. Maersk Line will continue to differentiate when it comes to sales experience, the booking process, service levels and customer service. CMA-CGM observes that the seaborne mode split leads container carriers to higher service level criteria where compensation of longer transit times, the ensuring of fumigation and logistic schemes, such as open sea exchange, are concerned. In all of these processes, data will be a key priority. Indeed, as Maersk points out, data will be the future value driver. 

MW

This is an abbreviated version of an article which appeared on p62 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read the full article for free here.