Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Switch of Port Facilities to Accommodate Larger Vessels as Southampton Goes Bananas

Increased Refrigerated Capability to Cope with Larger Volume of Fruit
Shipping News Feature

UK – EUROPE – LATIN AMERICA – A move to larger vessels, from 2,500 to 2,900 TEU on the Maersk 'Banana Boat' service seems to have prompted the switch for the UK call to DP World's container terminal operation at Southampton from the smaller facilities available at Portsmouth.

The short move north west saw the ECUBEX South America reefer service relocate, with the first ship, the Maersk Brani, dock on January 30 with her cargo of fruit. The main customer on this service is Fyffes which ships bananas from Ecuador and Colombia, and each reefer box, essential to maintain the cargo’s condition, is laden with up to 25 tonnes of bananas.

DP World says its Hampshire terminal’s direct daily rail connections to key inland distribution hubs, with the fastest truck turnaround times of any UK port, are important for customers who need to reduce lead times and increase the freshness and shelf life of perishable produce by getting them to stores faster. John Hopkins, General Manager Imports and Logistics at Fyffes said the larger ships also supported the company’s drive to reduce its environmental impact.

To ensure it could accommodate the extra volumes of temperature sensitive freight DP World increased the number of reefer connection points by 20% and Nick Loader, UK Chief Operating Officer, DP World, commented:

“The perishable and chilled goods industry relies on speed. DP World has the facilities including customs and food inspection posts as well as excellent inland connections to ensure we can deliver fast, high quality services levels for the UK’s supply chain.

“We are also able to provide shippers, like Fyffes, with increased visibility of their cargo. Using DP World’s online ‘Where’s my container?’ tool, Fyffes can track and trace their cargo which makes shipping through the port simpler, more efficient and transparent, which is key for the perishable goods industry. It’s digital tools like this and market-leading customer service and productivity which makes trade smarter.”

The new service route will be Guayaquil– Manzanillo – Santa Marta– Southampton – Antwerp – Hamburg – Bremerhaven – Veracruz – Altamira – Puerto Moin – Manzanillo – Balboa.

Photo: The Maersk Braniarrives at DP World Southampton.