On June 5th, 2019, the ceremony for the new warehouse took place in St. Petersburg, Russia in the presence of Maersk CEO Søren Skou, Fyffes CEO David McCann and representatives of regional and federal Russian administration. Constructed by the Russian industrial developer PNK Group, the facility will be located within the PNK Park Sofiyskaya KAD in St. Petersburg and has 23 700 square metres, with 35 docks able to serve daily throughput of up to 200 trucks. The maximum storage capacity will be over 50 000 tons and the fully Maersk-operated warehouse will employ over 200 employees.
Approximately 40% of the new warehouse will be occupied by Europe’s leading fruit company Fyffes, with the remaining capacity available for other customers from the fresh and frozen produce segment. The new cold store will enable Maersk to offer end-to-end solutions to Russian customers and thus to better meet their specific needs. Increased consumption requires specialised logistics for transportation, but also for storage of produce, allowing imported perishable goods to remain fresh for a longer time until they reach their end consumers.
“I am extremely proud of this project, which is the first such cold store on the Russian market. As Maersk, we are committed to helping our reefer customers in all aspects of their supply chain needs. Those needs go well beyond transportation and storage is a crucial element we are now addressing”, says Zsolt Katona, Managing Director for Eastern Europe at Maersk.
The facility will offer separate storage chambers for frozen produce (-25°C), chilled (+2/+8°C), as well as for bananas, which require a specific temperature of +13°C.
Speaking at the ceremony, Fyffes Chairman David McCann said: “Today’s ground-breaking is a very important milestone in Fyffes’ strategy to grow our business in Russia. As the largest importer of bananas in Europe, Fyffes is delighted to partner with Maersk in this new warehouse development, which will increase our ripening capacity in Russia to over 200 thousand boxes of bananas per week.’
In 2018, imports of fruit to Russia increased, with banana imports going up by 1%, citrus fruits by 7.4% and apples by nearly 13.5% compared to the year before. Experts expect fruit imports to continue to increase also in the coming years. Since 2017, Russia has been the second largest importer of bananas in the world, after the United States and surpassing Germany.
“Maersk is transforming to deliver integrated end-to-end solutions for our customers’ supply chains. While growing our Ocean activities in line with the market, investing in unbroken cold chain offerings is one of the levers we pull to accelerate our non-Ocean business and grow ahead of the market”, says Maersk CEO Søren Skou.