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Rotterdam Cool Port gets underway

Kloosterboer and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are investing in the start of a new cold storage cluster on the City Terminal site in the Waalhaven/Eemhaven: Rotterdam Cool Port. Kloosterboer is setting up a new cold store, specialised in the storage and handling of refrigerated and frozen cargo in reefer containers. Complementary services, such as empty depots and food inspection, will be added in the future.

Kloosterboer and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are investing in the start of a new cold storage cluster on the City Terminal site in the Waalhaven/Eemhaven: Rotterdam Cool Port.

Kloosterboer is setting up a new cold store, specialised in the storage and handling of refrigerated and frozen cargo in reefer containers. Complentary services, such as empty depots and food inspection, will be added  in the future.

“We are extremely proud about the start of Rotterdam Cool Port. We, as a port, have much experience in the cold storage sector and Rotterdam Cool Port is a valuable expansion of operations in this field,” said Ronald Paul, COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

“As this location has many multimodal connections with the container cluster on the Maasvlakte as well as all surrounding Greenports and the final destinations in Europe, Cool Port will make a real contribution to the sustainability and efficiency of the supply chain for fresh produce,” he said.

Operational in 2017

Construction is due to start early next year on the cold store and the layout of the Kloosterboer site. The company is purchasing 5 ha with the option to expand in the future. The terminal is expected to become operational in the course of 2017, with a capacity of 40,000 temperature-controlled pallet spaces to handle at least 400,000 pallets a year.

There is an additional 14,500 m2 approx. to accommodate various services such as packing, sorting and cross-docking. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to set up business at Cool Port. Here, we want to offer our clients the highest possible level of service in the perishable goods sector, via a state-of-the-art terminal,” said Kloosterboer CEO Hans Kroes.

Unique combination

The combination of location and cold storage facility makes Rotterdam Cool Port attractive, the port said in a press release. “Thanks to the location, shippers will no longer need to transport cargo from the terminal to the cold store, so that import and export costs can be substantially reduced. As Rotterdam Cool Port is being developed directly adjacent to container terminals, it will be possible to make optimum use of reefer container equipment. In addition, Rotterdam occupies a prominent position in the cold storage sector because the port serves as the first port of call in Europe for many shipping companies. Speed is crucial for perishable goods. Consequently, a whole range of specialised firms and temperature-controlled storage facilities have established themselves in Rotterdam and the surrounding area through the years,” it said.


The Province and the Municipality have both granted a subsidy for the redevelopment of a large part of the Eemhaven, with the cool port considered a good use of the newly vacant land. The Province is also contributing towards the access-related infrastructure, in the interests of the Greenports. In addition, it will have a positive impact on employment in the area. It is expected that about 100 people will be working there by 2017.

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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.


Images courtesy of Cool Logistics Global:

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End-to-end perishable supply chains the focus of Cool Logistics Asia event

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All aspects of the perishable supply chain will be covered at the one-day Cool Logistics Asia event at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong tomorrow, September 2.

Being held as part of the annual Asia Fruit Logistica trade fair for the first time, this unique perishables logistics and transport conference features leading international speakers from around the world and covers all modes of transport including air, container shipping, rail and road as well as storage.

Key speakers will include Lars Kastrup – SVP at CMA CGM, Thomas Lau – Head of Supply Chain Management and Logistics at Metro JinJiang Cash & Carry Co. Ltd, Nigel Webster – Director, Refrigerated Containers, Seaco, Michel Looten – Director, Maritime, Seabury Group, Chetan Kumria – Vice President – Supply Chain, Pernod Ricard, Tarun Arora – Manager Fresh Import and Distribution, IG International,Tsunemichi Mukai – Senior Vice President, MOL Liner, Henrik Christensen – President Global Logistics, KTZ Express, as well as Jan Strassburg – Senior Manager Rail Logistics & Forwarding, DB Schenker, Jack Lo – Cargo Product & Marketing Manager, Cathay Pacific, Clement Lam – Director and General Manager, Swire Pacific Cold Storage, Hans-Willem Van der Waal – Managing Director, AgroFair and many others.

Organisers say the first Cool Logistics Asia Conference offers a rare opportunity to design perishable supply chains of the future at a time when the cool chain market in Asia is set to explode.

“As everyone engaged in the perishable supply chain is looking to find new opportunities to market perishable produce whilst seeking to control logistics costs, this new forum allows carriers and cargo owners to sort out their differences and meet eye-to-eye in order to shape the future together,” said Alex von Stempel, Managing Director of Cool Logistics Resources Ltd.

For more information on the 1st Cool Logistics Asia: 

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Cool Logistics Asia makes its debut in Hong Kong

“The most productive concentration of cold-chain professionals under one roof in Asia” – that’s one way organisers have described the coming Cool Logistics Asia conference, taking place on September 2 on the doorstep of the world’s largest potential cold chain market, in Hong Kong.

The most productive concentration of cold-chain professionals under one roof in Asia – that’s one way organisers have described the coming Cool Logistics Asia conference, taking place on September 2 on the doorstep of the world’s largest potential cold chain market, in Hong Kong.

Coinciding with the opening day of Asia Fruit Logistica, this first edition of Cool Logistics Asia, being held at the AsiaWorld–Expo centre, will focus on new ways to control rising perishable logistics.

The high-level one-day forum will feature speakers from leading cold store operators and shipping lines, international perishable logistics experts, and perishable cargo owners, among many others, who will exchange experiences on how to create a roadmap for developing Asia’s perishable supply chains of the future.

It will also bring together the latest retail and e-tail trends with perishable product-based logistics case studies, food-safety with multi modal transport forecasts. Additionally, the conference will provide analysis of key infrastructure investments and a review of the latest available refrigerated logistics technology, and plenty of debating time as an appetiser and scene-setter for the Asia Fruit Logistica Exhibition.

The conference takes place within the wider context of an expected explosion in growth of the cold chain market in Asia in the short and medium term fired by greater demand for perishable goods, increasing wealth distribution and the development of e-commerce.

The need for new approaches is underlined by the fact that at least 30% of temperature sensitive cargoes are being wasted and have to be destroyed due to insufficient infrastructure, differences in culture and communication problems. Hence the critical need for this platform for better dialogue between the logistics sector and perishable producers, exporters and importers, organisers say.

Cool Logistics Asia has been designed as a regional event to complement Cool Logistics Global in Europe and other biennial regional events, such as Cool Logistics Africa and Cool Logistics Americas.

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