The top French controlled temperature port logistics operator has confirmed the growth of its fruit and vegetable business out of its Dunkirk terminal. In 2015 it handled 5% more by volume, transporting a total of 400,000 tons of fresh and frozen products. Colombia joined the countries with regular arrivals of fruit in 2015. The CMA-CGM company delivers an average of 20 containers of bananas and pineapples every week. Mangoes from the Ivory Coast have been imported for the first time, with a season from April to June. “This new programme has taken off thanks to co-operation with the health services (SIVEP), newly based at the port of Dunkirk,” said Luc Van Holzaet, CEO of the Conhexa group, to which Dunfresh and Dunfrost belong. Dunfresh also carries out quality control on arrival for its clients according to their individual specifications.
More sources and a new warehouse
“Our objective is to grow our business with Colombia and Costa Rica.” Nowadays, Dunfresh receives a great variety of fruit from very different sources, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Colombia, Morocco and Costa Rica. The main products it receives are bananas, which account for almost 85% by volume, pineapples, citrus fruit, grapes, apples, pears and tropical fruit. “We aim to reduce the risks by increasing the number of sources.” Dunfresh is also increasing its arrivals of products from China such as garlic and ginger. The company is preparing to build a new frozen warehouse with a 14,000 pallet capacity, scheduled to start in June and expected to come into operation at the beginning of 2017. The group’s current storage capacity is 34,000 palettes of deep frozen products and 10,000 of fresh. Dunfresh also has capacity for canned and other food products that need controlled temperature storage.
Strategic dockside position
Dunfresh’s location, only 300 m from the wharves where the ships unload, allows it to offer the most competitive container haulage cost on the market. “Our non-warehouse transport cost is around €150 cheaper than that of our competitors in Antwerp and Rotterdam,” said Luc Van Holzaet. The firm’s location inside the port itself and near to the wharves allows it to move containers with a payload of up to 28 or 29 tons instead of the maximum 24 tons gross weight of goods permitted for road transport. “We are developing a close collaboration with the main shipping groups.” New departures and arrivals are planned with other countries, particularly in Asia. A line arrives weekly from China, Thailand and Vietnam. in view of its strategic location for the British market, the frozen warehouse, Dunfrost, is in the process of implementing BRC.