"These are complicated days for logistic operators working on an international level with shipments by sea," reports Riccardo Martini, CEO of DCS Tramaco.
FreshPlaza (FP): How have fresh produce container shipments changed over the past few weeks?
Riccardo Martini (RM): Lower volumes are exported, which is normal for kiwifruit as sales in Europe are favored for the fruit still in stock to avoid long journeys that may compromise quality. Apple shipments are being affected by the Covid-19 emergency due to both the lower productivity of packaging warehouses and the containment measures employed to tackle the epidemic. All the leading destinations for our apples such as Jordan, Egypt and mostly India are locked down. What is more, these countries are also facing internal economic crises caused by the health emergency.
The Ravenna port (source: Port Authority website)
FP: What is the current situation with imports?
RM: After a few weeks of chaos due to the fear that goods would not be allowed out of our ports, things have picked up but with lower volumes than average. Road traffic in Europe has also recovered thanks to the "Green Lanes" granted by Community countries for the circulation of perishable goods.
Riccardo Martini, right, in an archive photo (Pierpaolo Calderoni from Teco on the left)
FP: What are you expecting for the next few weeks?
RM: Exports should maintain on the current level for two or three weeks, then volumes will surely drop due to the start of Ramadan in Arab countries. Those shipping overseas in the next few months will benefit from a reduction of the Bunker Surcharge announced by various shipping companies due to lower oil prices. Imports could continue on a good level, especially those from Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and South America, but the availability of empty reefers is still uncertain. Of course then it will all depend on how the Covid-19 epidemic will evolve in Europe and all over the world.
FP: What services does Tramaco provide to the fresh produce sector?
RM: Since 1992, Tramaco has been at the service of fresh produce importers and exporters. We provide personalized solutions that also include refrigerated storage and full and partial-load distribution all over the Italian and European territory. We also provide Door/Door refrigerated services thanks to a network of offices and foreign correspondents specialized in the transport of perishable goods. In 2017, we became part of Gruppo DCS (Del Corona & Scardigli in Livorno, a global forwarder for which DCS Tramaco has become the Reefer and Perishable division). In 2019, we handled around 28,000 teus reefers. Even in such a difficult time, our offices and warehouses are fully operational in compliance with all regulations to safeguard the health of our collaborators.