It has been more than six months since the corona virus turned daily life in Europe upside down. It is now difficult to imagine that the first effects of this mutated disease, for Europe, consisted of container congestion in several Chinese ports. Although much of this congestion has now been caught up on, it has not yet been completely resolved, according to Seatrade's Yntze Buitenwerf.
“For the time being, we still see plenty of room for our reefer ships because even before the corona there were major shortages in the reefer containers due to swine fever,” said the president of the shipping company originating from Groningen. "This resulted in a strong increase in Chinese pork imports from Europe and South America before the corona crisis."
“With the shortage of containers, the demand for our reefer ships increased this year in various countries and different sectors,” says Yntze. “This demand is now stabilising, but it is still fairly steady. We are still receiving huge demand from Ecuador and Central America for cargo space for the shipping of bananas, the largest product we see passing through, but also for exotics such as blueberries, avocados, mangoes and pineapples. ”
“In South Africa we have also seen our activities increase this year. This year we have already been able to transport more than 50,000 extra pallets on our specialised reefer ships. That is an increase of more than 50%. This is mainly due to the congestion that existed in container shipping, mainly due to ships that were not allowed to moor or depart on time as a result of Covid-19 measures. We were able to prevent this by applying a strict corona protocol, whereby contact between local workers and authorities and the crew on board was nil. This allowed our ships to continue sailing at all times without delay. ”
Seatrade's ships have also recently been used for onion exports to West Africa. "In addition, we are still a month away from the moment that the Dutch seed potatoes are again shipped to Africa and the Moroccan citrus season is also just around the corner."
For more information:
Seatrade Reefer Chartering
Tel: + (32) 3 544 9493