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France wants Peruvian exports to arrive at Dunkirk, not Rotterdam
Seventy years after World War II, Christopher Nolan's film "Dunkirk" was released a few months ago in Peru. This port has been completely rebuilt and today, along with the neighboring city of Calais, it is France's leading port area. Now, its mission is not war but commerce: it intends to beat the well-positioned Rotterdam port to become the preferred destination of Peruvian agro-exporters for the distribution of their products into Europe.
To this end, a special mission from the Great Port of Dunkirk visited Peru this week to inform them of the benefits of its facilities and comparative advantages. Stéphane Raison, president of the board of the entity, told Agraria.pe that one of its first objectives is to make the large flow of avocados that are sent from Peru to Europe (146 thousand tons), with France as its main destination, preferably pass by through this port, and no longer by Holland.
"Dunkirk is the first French port when importing fruit and vegetables by containers; this important sector is managed with logistics that allows the management of products coming from Africa, Asia and Latin America through to the whole European continent, including Russia," he said.
He stressed that in addition to avocados, Peru is the second supplier of mangoes in the European market after Brazil with 85 thousand tons shipped in 2016. He also highlighted the contribution of the grapes, whose shipments totaled 74 thousand tons last year. "Going through Dunkirk allows us to buy time for the distribution of Peru's products," he said.
From this point to the north of France, the spokesman noted, transit and distribution to the whole European bloc are very simple, especially German, English and Russian markets. It is estimated that the immediate reach is of 80 million consumers within a 350 kilometers radius.
At the moment, the journey from Peru, from where sea products are shipped (11 thousand tons to France, including shells, mollusks and shrimps) takes 21 days. These cargo services depart from Callao and Paita by three international companies that offer a weekly route to Dunkirk. The port administration's ambition, however, is that all exports follow this path, especially those in the agricultural sector.
Stéphane Raison said he hoped that in Peru happens what is already happening with Colombia, a country they visited for the first time last year, and having had no previous trade with them, that today represents a flow of 100 thousand tons of bananas. "Exporters have realized that going through Dunkirk means making a lot of money," he says, adding: "A comparative study between the port of Rotterdam and Dunkirk shows that the difference in cost per container is 500 euros (cheaper in the French port), a considerable value for exporters. "
Regarding the phytosanitary control of the products, Raison emphasized that they have specialists in this field with a commercial orientation that assures exporters that all their products will arrive safely. He gave as an example the case of the African mango, that with a flow of 50 thousand tons a year is one of the most difficult to inspect, but that is managed expeditiously.
Dunkirk is only 40 kilometers from the coasts of the United Kingdom and 10 kilometers from the Belgian border.
The complex formed by Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne moves more than 90 million tons of cargo of all types: dry, liquid, bulk, with specialized handling of containers and controlled temperature. Dunkirk alone accounts for 47 million tonnes.
More than 1000 trucks flow through Dunkirk and Calais every day. 35% are in refrigerated containers. Its transportation costs are very competitive.
The port has an extension of 17 kilometers, emphasizing a main 1,280 meters pier, and six porticos for last generation containers. By 2018 it is planned to expand to be ready to receive Triple-E ships, the largest in the world. It offers more than 40 thousand square meters for customs warehouses of refrigerated and environmentally friendly products, and more than 100 thousand cubic meters for frozen products with control quality, classification, conditioning and dispatches.
Publication date: 9/11/2017
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