Last year, Neele-Vat transported its first Argentinian lemons to the European market. Neele-Vat is a Dutch logistics service provider. This year, they, literally, missed the boat. "No lemons were being exported from that country. That threw a spanner in the works," says Priscilla van der Sluijs, Neele-Vat's Reefer specialist.
"In Argentina, they were very busy dealing with black spot on the lemons too. So, things are over for this year. We were able to do two containers, but it stopped there. We were, nevertheless, able to get beautiful volumes of ginger, minerals, and avocados. These came from South America to Rotterdam."
It wasn't only black spot that caused the company lots of problems. So did the coronavirus. "Our fruit and vegetable department and other perishables were especially hard hit. That was because, among other things, many of our clients supply the hospitality industry. That stood still for a few months," explains Priscilla.
"There were also challenges with blueberry imports from Morocco. That's only now slowly getting back on track. Considering the company as a whole, we, however, have no complaints. We're proud of our part in supplying Personal Protective Equipment. This went to the Dutch Consortium for Relief Supplies."
In February, many containers were stuck in China. "Fortunately, we know how to avoid that issue at that level. We were able to keep and secure many of our containers. But we did see more competition from conventional reefer ships. They're pinching some of the market share here and there," Priscilla adds.
Going in the right direction
"Things are slowly going in the right direction again. We've seen that the current import traffic has doubled again. However, it remains exciting to see how things will continue. I'm confident we'll be able to achieve our desired results by year-end. That's if we consider how the market is developing in certain areas. These include Europe and Africa."
"Neele-Vat doesn't focus solely on G.P. traffic," says Van der Sluijs. "The company's also well on its way to becoming a major reefer player. Our reefer division specialists organize reefer container import and export transport. That includes all the accompanying documents and storage possibilities. They do so with a truly hands-on approach."
An artist's impression of Neele-Vat's new building in Rotterdam.
It's clear that the work isn't at a standstill. Neele-Vat has plans for a new head office. It'll have storage capacity, including cooling cells, too. This new building will be located in the Port of Rotterdam. "We've started preparations already. Later this year, the first pile for the new building must be driven. It'll be in the Vondelingenplaat district. That's adjacent to the neighborhood of Pernis. The planned new building should be completed by the end of 2021," concludes Priscilla.
For more information:
Neele-Vat Ocean B.V.
Priscilla van der Sluijs
2 - 14 Marco Polo Street
3165 AL, Rotterdam, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 889 964 682