Bananas from Suriname on the CMA CGM vessel Pointe des Colibris will be delivered to the Belgian New Fruit Wharf (BNFW) terminal in Antwerp today (February 1, 2017).
The cargo will be distributed to the local market and surrounding countries and it was only natural that Marc Van Peel, Port Alderman at Antwerp Port Authority, should reveal the importance of the agreement…
Peel said: “The competition with neighbouring ports is very hard, especially in the fruit segment. In these circumstances if we manage to win additional freight for Antwerp it’s a very big deal that underlines the strengths that we have to offer, namely speed, efficiency, good hinterland connections and the availability of return cargo.”
Don’t let this slip, but every Wednesday, an average of 50 containers (with some 43,000 bananas per container) will be unloaded off ships with a capacity of 2,800 TEU.
The owner of the bananas is FAI, fruit partner of Greenyard, the world market leader in fresh and prepared vegetables and fruit, based in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium.
Greenyard has signed a new contract with the CMA CGM shipping company to carry the bananas with one of the crucial factors being the direct call at the BNFW fruit terminal in Antwerp.
A direct call like this reduces the throughput time in the logistics chain, which for perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables is very important.
The arrival of CMA CGM represents the third container reefer carrier for BNFW, after Maersk and Hamburg Süd, both of which have opted for a direct service to Antwerp during the past two years or less.
The Port of Antwerp has experienced particularly strong growth in perishable goods in the past few years.
In 2016, a reefer volume of 9.02 million tonnes was handled. This represents a TEU increase of 6.1% over the previous year. Until just a few years ago, fruit such as bananas was carried as bulk freight, but the growth in containerisation means that bananas are increasingly shipped in refrigerated containers.
Thanks to the enormous variety of value-added activities available within the port, shippers are increasingly opting to send these containers through Antwerp. Here, not only are the containers simply loaded and unloaded, but logistics companies carry out numerous value-added operations such as quality control, packaging and customs clearance in refrigerated warehouses.
Greenyard has opted for a direct service to Antwerp with CMA CGM. The ship that docks today forms part of the shipping company’s North Europe French West Indies (NEFWI) service.
The service will call at the BNFW terminal on quay 212, entering the port directly at 0600 hours and leaving for their next destination at 1400 the same day.
This shipment is set to increase with time and containers will also be loaded on board, as one of the advantages of Antwerp is the availability of return cargo.
A number of Caribbean islands will receive containers that have been loaded in Antwerp with among other things vegetables, fruit, sugar, wine and beer.
The NEFWI service is calling at Antwerp directly for the first time on the eve of Fruit Logistica, one of the largest trade fairs for professionals in the fruit and vegetables business, held annually in Berlin.
From 8 to 10 February some 70,000 visitors from all over the world will come to the Messe exhibition centre in Berlin where 2,884 stand-holders will be presenting their services.
The Port of Antwerp and Greenyard have confirmed that they will have a stand, just be careful where you step when you go to visit!