Port of Antwerp lands new banana contract
In February 2017 - The CMA CGM vessel Pointe des Colibris is due to call at the Belgian New Fruit Wharf (BNFW) terminal in Antwerp carrying among other goods bananas from Suriname. These will be distributed via the port of Antwerp to the local market and to surrounding countries.
The main reason of contract signature is 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 naturally 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.
Antwerp Port Authority is particularly pleased with this direct service: “The competition with neighboring ports is very hard, especially in the fruit segment,” explains port alderman Marc Van Peel. “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.”
The port of Antwerp has experienced particularly strong growth in perishable goods in the past few years. In 2016 alone a reefer volume of 9.02 million tones was handled. Expressed in TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units, i.e. standard containers) this represents an 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. Moreover, containerization allows the flexibility in terms of quantity of shipped products and ease of its unloading in the port of destination.
Thanks to the enormous variety of value-added activities available within the port, shippers are increasingly opting to send these containers via Antwerp. Here, not only are the containers simply loaded and unloaded, but also in the refrigerated warehouses the logistics companies carry out numerous value-added operations such as quality control, packaging, customs clearance.
As additional service, Port of Antwerp now launches E-Certification. The shipping certificate can now be filled in the internet. The main purpose of this new service is to save customers’ time, post expenses and make the shipment even more convenient for exporters and shipping companies.
Antwerp Port Authority
T +32 3 205 23 09