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Dick Quaak (Seatrade): "Reefers more popular"
Ice prevents fruit and vegetable shipments to reach Russia

The fruit and vegetable shipments to Russia are hindered by dangerous ice, which has been pushed by a western wind from the Gulf of Finland in the direction of Saint Petersburg. "The icebreakers were no longer capable of assisting the large number of ships and therefore a substantial number of ships are icebound" chartering manager Dick Quaak of Seatrade, who coordinates transports to and from Russia, tells.

The number of icebound ships was 151 on Wednesday, 30th of March. According to Dick the weather conditions in the area are still extreme as a result of the severe  conditions. Very hard winds and snow in the Gulf cause great difficulties, when rescue operations are started. It is hoped that the wind will shift, which would cause an improvement in the situation.
Seatrade itself has only one vessel with fruit icebound in the Gulf of Finland, but the total of specialised cooling vessels, having problems entering or leaving Saint Petersburg is fifteen and the number of non-specialised cooling vessels with potatoes and onions is a multiple of that.

Dick does not think, that the exporters will decide not to export, but does expect, that the possibilities to use cooling vessels will now be investigated. "A conventional potato vessel was on the way, of which 30% of the potatoes is frozen. For those vessels it is too cold now."

Publication date: 3/31/2011
Author: Gerard Lindhout


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