In 2020, the supply chain was marked by profound difficulties. Due to the pandemic, many factories were closed, but not only that. Geopolitical tensions between the United States and China have also strongly impacted maritime flows and container availability. Supply difficulties continued in 2021 with the obstruction of the Suez Canal by the container ship Ever Given for nearly 5 months, mobilizing a large number of containers and ships, leading to significant backlogs, shortages and bottlenecks at the ports. This situation has had a very significant impact on the fruit and vegetable sector, with slower export deliveries.
These repeated supply problems have led many professionals like HM Distribution to stock large volumes of goods to avoid any shortage.
Significant losses in goods and sales
Direct consequence of the delays in shipments, bottlenecks have formed with goods arriving simultaneously. “This situation requires additional effort and manpower to repack the salvageable products. The perishable nature of the products, added to the lack of refrigerated containers, has led to significant losses in goods and sales,” explains import manager Alessandro Cholet, who adds that HM Distribution will now reserve containers 3 to 6 months ahead of time in order to be sure that its programs with suppliers and customers will not be affected.
“With so much shipping capacity bogged down, importers and exporters have been competing for containers and rare ships, which has increased the price of transportation.” Containers, manpower…a general price increase that is particularly difficult to pass on to certain products. “For the oranges, it was very difficult to increase the prices because of the considerable volumes in the ports, and the production in Spain and Portugal, prices even increased periodically.”
Managing the supply chain will most certainly be the focus of the year 2022.
About HM Distribution
In business since 1945, Les Halles Mondetour then became HM Distribution and moved to the Rungis market in 1969. Initially specialized as an apple retailer, the company has developed its offer and services over time. Today, as an importer and exporter, HM Distribution offers citrus fruit, grapes, stone fruits and vegetables, as well as a range of exotic fruit since 2017. But HM Distribution also produces apples, thanks to the acquisition of Domaine de Confoux in the south of France.
For more information:
M.I.N. de Rungis Bât E3
14 avenue de Bretagne
94522 Rungis Cedex – CP 60155
Phone: 01 46 86 07 33
Fax: 01 45 60 90 94