Colourful, juicy and packed with vitamins: it’s easy to see why mangoes are becoming more and more popular around the world. But did you know that producers in West Africa have just a six-week window to harvest these tasty fruits every year? Find out how MSC helps SIIM, a subsidiary of the Omer-Decugis Group, to overcome the logistical challenges of this brief but very intense peak season.
“Our logistical needs multiply by 30”
West Africa’s mango-picking season is remarkably short in comparison to other fruits. Bananas and pineapples, for example, are grown across the continent all year round, while South Africa’s blueberry season lasts six months.
“Mango production begins in April and ends in May,” explains Vincent Omer-Decugis, President and CEO of Omer-Decugis & Cie and CEO of SIIM. “During this time, our logistical needs multiply by 30.”
This dramatic shift requires a flexible and highly experienced shipping partner with the ability to react quickly and scale up support as needed. Attention to detail is also important, as mangoes are fragile, perishable goods and European retailers have very high expectations in terms of taste, texture, appearance and aroma.
“Forty-six weeks of preparation for six weeks of delivery puts all of our teams under immense pressure,” explains Vincent Omer-Decugis. “There is no room for error. Quality produce can’t be guaranteed without quality logistics.”
Watch the video to find out more about the West African mango season, and how MSC helps SIIM to sail through this action-packed period.
A natural partnership
Established in France in 1850, the Omer-Decugis Group is a sixth-generation family business. Like MSC, which is also family company, it has strong historic ties with Africa and many decades of experience in the fruit industry. This means that MSC is perfectly positioned to provide the flexible, local logistics support that SIIM needs.
“As family companies, MSC and the Omer-Decugis Group share many of the same values, from our commitment to caring for people to our strong focus on sustainability,” explains Clio Guagente, West Africa Export Trade Manager, MSC. “It was very important to us to create a top-quality logistics solution that reflects these values and meets SIIM’s specific requirements.”
Trucks operated by MEDLOG, MSC’s logistics arm, pick up the pre-cooled mangoes directly from SIIM’s packing plants in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Mali. The containers from Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire then travel to the port of Abidjan, one of the major transshipment hubs in the Gulf of Guinea, to join MSC’s weekly ‘NWC - Canary - WAF’ service to Antwerp.
For more information: msc.com