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Francia 07/11/2023

Perishable cargo transportation challenges: The Big Interview with Mike Parr & Jason Spencer-Knox from PML Seafrigo

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As a strategic step towards expanding its international presence, the French-based Seafrigo Group, specialists in temperature-controlled food logistics, has successfully executed the acquisition of UK-based PML – Perishable Movements Limited earlier this year. PML is one of the leaders in handling and transporting perishable goods, maintaining operations across three critical hubs in the UK.

Fructidor met Mike Parr, Director PML, and Jason Spencer-Knox, Seafrigo Regional CEO, to determine what this acquisition means for the industry, and what challenges the transport sector faces today.

Jason SPENCER-KNOX: “Seafrigo brought me on board to help with the development of the UK region, among other things. Over the years, it has grown into a mature business in the logistics space with air freight, ocean freight, road freight, and its own warehousing.”

 

“We go asset-heavy to control the supply-chain”

While. Mike Parr highlighted that they joined the Seafrigo team in July 2023 because they saw better ways of preserving fruits and vegetables in the future. The two businesses share the same ethos regarding the steps needed to create a future perfect business providing world-class logistics and supply chain solutions.

 

Mike PARR: “Many of our competitors are asset-light, while we go asset-heavy. This is driven by our strategy to control the supply chain as much as possible. Asset-heavy – means that we invested in our own trucks, warehouses, and facilities to have total control over the supply chain. This is what customers want. Because when it comes to something like perishable produce transportation, we’re not shipping a box of wood. It doesn’t matter if the box of wood is late or lost for a few days. In our business, you must consistently know where your produce is throughout the supply chain.”

 

Jason SPENCER-KNOX: “As we develop globally, we aim to have all of our products and services under our control. In the UK, we have a solid background in ocean freight. We decided to set up our organic offices in London Gateway but then realized that we didn’t want to compete with the local champions and decided to combine our forces and use PML’s expertise and knowledge to grow our business to the next level. We aim for that level of maturity across all of our locations.”

 

Seafrigo has centres of excellence around the globe for air freight in Europe, and Australia, and is developing fast in other areas as well. The company aims to deliver the product from the field to the fork quickly and offers value-added services across five continents.

 

“We provide additional days of shelf-life.”

 

Mike PARR: “We take the products today, we pack them today, and we’ll supply them to the supermarkets tomorrow, which no other company does. Thanks to our packhouses, we’re reducing road miles and increasing the shelf life of products. If you provide two additional days of shelf life for your product, that’s a win-win for everybody.”

 

“Listening to our customers to see how we can help them is paramount. This is how we operate.” – Mike Parr, Director PML.

 

In the same line? Adopting the same customer-friendly approach? Seafrigo makes it easier for people to bring the produce into the UK, and with their network, they distribute it directly to the markets. Delivering produce straight to London is expensive, and one needs to have a special permit for that. Seafrigo’s drivers do this, enabling fresh products to reach the capital’s supermarket shelves in the best condition possible. 

 

Mike PARR: “In the UK, there’s a massive deficit of exports vs. imports. Probably for every five imports, there’s only one export load. European carriers don’t like coming into the UK because to get the export load, you need extra permits, so they often go back empty. We’re offering to take that hassle away from them with our hub established near the ferry port. We can even collect trailers from the Port of Dover, bring them back to our Kent transport and logistics center, and then return them to the dock for a seamless transfer back to Europe.”

 

“Speaking about Brexit’s impact on the industry, once Brexit is fully implemented, I think for fruit and veg it’s not going to be so bad as for fish, meat and dairy, due to health inspections. With fruit and vegetables, with the help of the FPC (Fresh Produce Consortium), we’ve managed to minimize issues.”

 

Seafrigo operates globally and actively expands in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, the UK, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. Shortly, the group plans to open new branches in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

 

Interested in finding a transport service provider with a worldwide presence, send your inquiry.

 

 

 
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PML is one of the leaders in handling and transporting perishable goods, maintaining operations across three critical hubs in the UK.
 
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