Frankort & Koning: alternative ways of transport

Frankort & Koning was the first importer of fresh produce to start (in January of this year, at the end of the Brazilian melon season) the transport of reefer containers over the waters of Rotterdam to the inland terminal in Venlo. Recently the company initiated a pilot project transporting reefers per train.

“We are still in the process of working out all the technicalities,” says import coordinator Martijn van den Berg. “Not all of the Rotterdam harbours are equally accessible. Some of them you can reach by train, others by ship. This, of course, makes logistics complicated.”

“The terminal in Venlo can be reached both ways, but somehow transport by road is more flexible, so we prefer that. We only use boats and trains for produce that doesn’t require immediate access.” Martijn says one of the reasons to avoid the road is to reduce carbon dioxide. “We don’t have the illusion that trains and ships can completely take over transport by truck, but we are trying to shift as much as possible, within reason of course. What percentage of our melons will reach Venlo this way is difficult to say. We are still at the beginning of the season. I hope we can reach between 30 to 50%."

The pilot project, transporting goods by train, will run until January. After that the project will be evaluated. “It’s always interesting to experiment with logistics,” according to Martijn. “Sustainable business is growing and customers increasingly demand it. We want to be ahead of that curve."
For more information contact Paul Schreurs.

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