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Port of Barcelona, driver of economic activity in Europe and the Mediterranean

The Port of Barcelona is Spain’s number one in terms of the value of the goods handled.

The strategically located Port of Barcelona is not only Spain’s number one in terms of the value of the goods handled, it is an engine of economic activity for southern Europe. It ranks fourth in the world for cruise ship traffic and is the Mediterranean leader in vehicle traffic.

Barcelona is also among European ports with the greatest potential for growth. Oriented towards the handling of high value added cargo, the port is now in an important growth phase marked by two key aspects: the completion of the largest expansion in its history, and the extension of its range of activities, through the enhancement of its maritime, road and rail connectivity.

“Historically, the commercial development of the Port of Barcelona was based on imports, but in recent years, driven by the local business sector, exports have increased significantly and the situation has reversed,” said Lluís París, the port’s commercial manager.

“In this context, the extension of the Barcelona container terminal (TCB) and the opening in 2012 of the Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) by the Hutchison group, gave us the ability to handle a larger volume of containers and to compete with the major ports of northern Europe. In addition, we have forged alliances with logistics operators and are expanding our short sea routes, linking Spain, Italy and the Mediterranean, with services such as those provided by the Grimaldi group, the leading Italian shippers.”

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The expansion more than doubled the port’s surface area to 1,300 hectares. “The docks and terminals built or enlarged in the new port allow terminal operators to handle bigger ships and largescale cargo,” París said. Furthermore, to provide better services for perishables passing through the port, the new Border Inspection Point (known in Spanish as PIF) has 31 loading docks and other features designed to streamline border control and quality standards compliance requirements.


This report appeared on p67 of edition 135 of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more Logistics news in the section starting on p62.


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Port of Koper: making waves in the Adriatic

The multipurpose port of Koper, Slovenia, located in the North Adriatic, is in close proximity to various big cities in Central Europe and in a very attractive location for fresh produce deliveries to Western and Eastern Europe – providing weekly dispatch to the UK and Moscow – for goods originating from the Eastern Mediterranean and Far East. It has a modern fruit terminal infrastructure and offers a high quality service of fast cross-docking and customs clearance 7 days a week, year-round.
The Port of Koper lies in the Northern Adriatic Sea, where the Mediterranean most deeply penetrates the European continent. Consequently, it represents the shortest link from the Far East via Suez to Central and South-Eastern European markets, with excellent road and railway connections, and a sea distance about 2,000 nm shorter than other North-European ports. The port’s hinterland covers a vast area with a high economic potential and rapidly developing economies. The most important European business centres are less than a day away from Koper. This is why in addition to Slovenia, the major inland markets of Port of Koper are Austria, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bavaria and Poland. Its location is not the port’s only advantage. It is a modern, well-organised and well-equipped multipurpose port. It operates day and night, all year long. The port is an approved EU border inspection post and the entire area has free zone status. The basic port activities in Koper take place in 12 terminals specialized in handling and warehousing various types of goods, such as containers, general cargo, fruit and perishable goods, livestock, vehicles, timber, dry bulk and liquid cargoes. Moreover, to fully meet customers’ needs, ‘Luka Koper’ also performs a variety of additional services that add to the value of goods.
In 2013, the Koper port continued its growth in various cargo types via 12 different terminals, exceeding 18 million tons of throughput, most of it being exports and imports for the hinterland markets of Slovenia. The container terminal reached 600,000 TEU, again being ranked first among Adriatic ports. Since obtaining the status of an official EU port of entry in 2004, the Port of Koper has enjoyed continuous growth in various cargoes. Fresh produce is the most sensitive and demanding cargo, requiring excellent service by everyone in the chain from arrival at the port to the promptest possible departure. 

Customs-cleared goods by reefer truck just a few hours later
Its high demand clients (exporters and importers) have awarded Port of Koper a reputation as a reliable, safe, high quality and flexible service provider.
Koper port is certified to ISO 9001, 14001, 22000, BS OHSAS, EFQM, HACCP and has ECO certification for organic produce. Koper port continually invests in the upgrade of its facilities: modern equipped cold stores at the fruit terminal offer storage of up to 16,000 pallets, an area of 26,000 m2 and 1,500 pallets in the refrigerated rooms, and an area of 2,000 m2 at -180 C. Last year, this major gateway handled 9,000 40’ reefer containers containing 220,000 pallets. In the peak season, most containers arrive twice-weekly from Israel – up to 400 40’ reefers weekly – and are swiftly dispatched to various European destinations in Germany, Holland, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and the UK, and occasionally also to Moscow. This season, improved weekly arrivals from Egypt have been observed, and recently also citrus from Turkey. Arrivals of grapes from India, which started last season, are expected to continue. More and more goods are reaching supermarket shelves direct from Koper. Year-round for the last four years, fresh cut flowers and herbs have arrived from Israel for dispatch to the Dutch auction. The port also handles bananas all year, more of which are arriving in containers, in addition to those in conventional reefer ships. Banana ripening in the port’s ripening chambers is also available.

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Foodcareplus, dedicated logistic provider from Antwerp

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“For more than 25 years, our company has been providing logistics services for perishable industry operators,” according to Marie Lammertyn, sales management assistant at foodcareplus. 
A privately owned logistics provider, foodcareplus is based in Antwerp – the leading gateway to Europe. Unlike most logistics service providers, the company’s business model does not allow third-party logistics service providers to deal with transactions under common and standard agency agreements. All business services are strictly controlled through a business platform. Another office is located in Tianjin, a large Chinese port.
The company is also pleased to be able to provide its customers with more efficient distribution solutions, a key reason it is the sponsor of Cool Logistic Global conferences on pressing issues for the industry.

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Lufthansa Cargo delivering to the doorstep

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Receiving flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables at your doorstep has never been so straightforward. 

Lufthansa Cargo and the Cool Chain Group (CCG) have joined forces on the to-door delivery of fresh products. Lufthansa Cargo has been providing this service for the past 15 years, and with CCG, it will be expanded to other markets including 36 European destinations. It is ideal for customers requiring fast and reliable shipment of fresh cargo in a temperature-controlled environment but with no transport service of their own from airport to consignee.
A few days before Valentine´s Day, 1,000 tonnes of roses were flown from warmer climates in Africa (Kenya) and South America (Ecuador and Colombia) to Frankfurt, with Lufthansa Cargo. On a single flight, up to 90 tonnes of roses can be transported, and this is actually more environmentally-friendly than growing the roses in Germany. According to by the UK’s Cranfield University, that would produce more CO2 as each individual flower needs artificial irrigation and an additional heat supply to grow.  
To meet the exceptionally high demand for roses on Valentine’s Day, the cargo airline arranged special flights in addition to the scheduled connections.  As soon as the roses are harvested, they are whisked to the packaging centre then direct to the aircraft. They are unloaded in Frankfurt, where, from this hub, the roses are sent to other destinations.

1,7 million tons delivered
Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading cargo carriers. Its 2013 traffic figures show the airline carried around 1.7 million tonnes of freight and mail and sold 8.7 billion tonne-kilometres (RTK). Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves 300 destinations in around 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, and an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt airport. Lufthansa Cargo is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
The CCG Group, based at Kelsterbach near Frankfurt, operates a global network dedicated to managing the supply chain of temperature-sensitive products. As a perishables integrator and specialist logistics provider, CCG offers innovative concepts for start-to-finish supply chain solutions from source to destination.

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Emirates airline builds new hub for perishables

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A new and additional logistics hub for the “World’s Best Airline” is being constructed at Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. The new freighter base will allow expansion of Emirates’ cool chain services. It will feature a dedicated perishable temperature controlled area, de-linked from the temperature zone for pharmaceutical and healthcare cargo. Emirates is also working on innovative solutions to provide a streamlined service for the perishable supply chain, the launch of which is planned for early this summer.  “We are currently working on developing our facilities including our ‘Cool Dollies’ with a real time automated temperature mapping system. In the next stage our aim is to develop this at shipment level (with single-use data loggers),” said André Martin, senior corporate communications manager at Emirates Airlines.  With its three Cool Chain solutions (basic, advanced, premium), Emirates SkyCargo is able to meet the varying demands of the perishable industry across its global network. Its major trade lanes for fruits, vegetables and flowers are from Africa into Europe and the Middle East, for meat (chilled and fresh) these are mainly from Australia, New Zealand and the sub-continent, while source markets like South America are also in strong focus, with shippers using its cool chain products.     

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Maersk Line reports improved reefer yield

After last year’s bold measures, Maersk Line reports improved reefer yield for less volume with greater focus on customers. 
During his presentation at Cool Logistics Global in Rotterdam, Thomas Eskesen, Maersk Line’s Global Head of Reefers and Special Cargo, concluded that where the reefer business is concerned the operating margins were insufficient to warrant billion-dollar future investments in the sector. Reflecting on key points learned from their high profile Revenue Recovery restoration program announced a year earlier, he remarked that “For years, inflation and increasing bunker prices were not reflected in the reefer rates.” 
Despite well-documented cost savings and organizational restructuring to cut costs from the system, we were still not achieving a profit anywhere near our capital costs.
Thomas Eskesen: “If we wanted to stay in this business and continue to invest in the high quality products demanded, we needed to do something different and ask customers to pay more.” Initially, this measure caused shock and disbelief, but eventually it led to customers paying increased rates, thus improving total reefer yield for less volume. As expected, Maersk has lost some market share and expects to end 2013 with a loss of 10 percent in volume.
Interestingly, in addition to the better reefer yield, there have been other favorable side-effects. “Our ability to deliver on our commitments and promises to customers has improved. Data shows, perhaps predictably, that Maersk Lines’ customer satisfaction scores improved steadily throughout 2013 after an initial nosedive in Q1. Maersk Line has kept its focus on long-term relationships with customers and is convinced that partnerships are the future value drivers. Thomas Eskesen: “The increased rates give us long term stability, which means long-term reliability for the customer.” Multiple year contracts are becoming an increasing trend as clients realize we need to have open books and a long-term approach to improving cold chain efficiencies and innovating together. This is simply not possible with short-term contracting. Due to its size and global reach, Maersk Line can also offer the customer flexibility in unforeseen situations. Thomas Eskesen: “The more unpredictable the business is, the more the customer will need a reliable, highly intensive service provider. The need for a Plan B is increasing in line with increasing climatic uncertainty.” Another reaction that Maersk Line received following the rate hike was: please don’t leave the reefer business. In closing, Thomas Eskesen confirmed Maersk Line’s firm commitment to the reefer business. “The APM/Maersk group has already invested billions in the reefer industry, be it on containers, vessels designed for reefer trade or landside terminal investments. We are not going to divest, but we had to send a clear signal to our customers that we need to get paid more for what we do. 


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Ready for expansion at the Port of Antwerp

Wim Dillen, senior business development manager with the Port of Antwerp, is clear about this: they want to be there to facilitate the expected growth. Wim Dillen explains that there will indeed be growth. “Today there is less industry, which will increase the need for imports at the same time as innovative companies in the hinterland will cause exports to grow. There is also a growing world population, which is expected to lead to increased migration towards Europe.” The number 1 banana port in the world nowadays receives over 4,600 container vessels a year. On a yearly basis, 1.4 million kilos of fruit—mainly bananas, pineapples, apples and stone fruit—is handled from over 400 specialized reefer vessels. The Port of Antwerp has a lot to offer to its customers. Wim Dillen: “There are no monopolies in the Port of Antwerp; our customers can choose their preferred terminal and are thus able to shape their strategy without anyone looking on. The Port of Antwerp is a complete deep-sea port that allows access for all types of vessels. Since our port is a deep-sea inland port, the goods are 80 kilometers closer to the customers, offering sustainability and transportation advantages.”  The Port of Antwerp is under continuous development to meet the ever-changing demands of its customers. Wim Dillen: “A lot of potential capacity is available; the Flemish authorities are making 1,100 hectares available for expansion.” Wim Dillen is positive about the future: “There will be growth and people have to eat perishables, too.”

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Kuehne + Nagel focussing on none-stop shop air solutions

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Kuehne + Nagel is the third largest airfreight forwarder, offering a full range of air logistics solutions as well as streamlined visibility and monitoring. With more than 100 offices where dedicated staff handle perishables by sea and air, Kuehne + Nagel is focusing strongly on the one-stop shopping solution, explains Global Airfreight Director Dennis Verkooy. “About 30 percent of our customers are retailers and that share is growing. We can organise transport completely, from door to door, and that offers the retailer transparency in costs.” Kuehne + Nagel developed the KN chain for temperature controlled cargo. The concept focuses on the proper care of perishable cargo, making sure that it reaches its destination in proper condition. Door-to-door service and a single point of contact are among the many advantages. 
Increased import focus
Traditionally Kuehne + Nagel is more focused on exports. Dennis Verkooy: “What is exported somewhere is imported elsewhere. In recent years we have been and will be investing in expanding our network to provide importing facilities for our customers as well.” The recently acquired Van de Put Aircargo is an example of this, and now serves as Kuehne + Nagel’s European hub. Kuehne + Nagel is strong in South America. “We do a lot of flowers in Colombia and Ecuador, asparagus in Peru and fruit in Brazil.” Kuehne + Nagel has an annual growth in their strong market South America, but also sees new countries developing. “We are noticing a strong upward trend from Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and also a lot of fruit and vegetables are being imported into Russia.”
Kuehne + Nagel is the third largest airfreight forwarder. We offer a full range of air logistics solutions as well as streamlined visibility and monitoring via our ground-breaking KN Login information management system.