Bananas drive supply of refrigerated containers in Dutch ports

In 2018, nearly ten million tonnes of cooled and frozen goods were supplied via seaborne cargo to the Netherlands. This is 39 per cent more than in 2016. The supply of goods in other containers amounts to about 55 million tonnes, 16 per cent more than in 2016, according to new figures of Statistics Netherlands regarding the international transport of goods by sea.

The total container supply increased by 28 per cent between 2011 and 2018, and most of this increase was realised in the final two years. The container supply of cooled goods grew more rapidly than the supply of other goods. In 2011, refrigerated containers made up only 13 per cent of the total container supply, but in 2018 this was more than 15 per cent. A refrigerated or frozen container is unloaded on a Dutch quay every 70 seconds on average. Nearly 97 per cent of all refrigerated containers arrive in the Port of Rotterdam, More than three per cent arrives in Vlissingen. Depending on the type of goods, part remains on Dutch soil, part is shipped out again (transshipment).

Fewer goods on refrigerated boats, more in refrigerated containers
Cooled and frozen goods can be transported on special refrigerated boats or in refrigerated or frozen containers on container boats.In 2016, the supply of goods in refrigerated and frozen containers started increasing while transport on refrigerated boats started decreasing. This becomes particularly obvious in fruit, The supply of fruit on refrigerated boats has dropped by four per cent to nearly one million tonnes since that year, while the supply of fruit in refrigerated and frozen containers increased by 43 per cent to 5.5 million tonnes.

Most cooled goods from Brazil and South Africa
In 2018, Brazil and South Africa shipped more than one million tonnes of refrigerated and frozen goods to the Netherlands by sea. Supply from South Africa increased by nearly 13 per cent, and as a result it reached more than one million tonnes for the first time ever. From Brazil, 1.6 per cent more than in 2017 was supplied. The biggest growers are the Central American countries Colombia (90 per cent more refrigerated goods in 2018) and Panama (46 per cent). From these countries, more than 200,000 tonnes of refrigerated goods more were supplied in 2018 compared to the year before, and this mostly concerned bananas. The supply of cooled goods from Norway decreased the most, particularly due to a decrease of supplied fish.

More fruit supplied
In 2018, 5.5 million tonnes of fruit were supplied, one million tonne (22 per cent) more than in 2017. As a result, fruit is the goods category that grew most among goods supplied in refrigerated containers. The supply of bananas in particular caused this increase. Since 2016, the supply of bananas more than doubled.

Fruit mostly from South America and Africa
Countries responsible for the majority of the overseas supply of fruit in refrigerated containers are Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, South Africa and Brazil. Bananas mostly come from Central America, Africa supplies the most oranges (with South Africa, Egypt and Morocco in the top three). In 2018, South Africa supplied most of the grapes in refrigerated ocean containers (185,000 tonnes), while Peru shipped the most avocados to the Netherlands (109,000 tonnes).

Source: CBS

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