The perishable seaborne transport market grew less than anticipated in 2013 and Safmarine’s volumes for 2013 reflected this market reality according to Marc Rooms, Safmarine’s Global Head of Reefers.

With Safmarine’s reefer volumes as forecast for 2013, the carrier is now looking to take on new business in 2014, especially if doing so represents an opportunity to grow its business in tandem with that of its customers.

According to Rooms, “Our focus is on growing volumes to and from the African continent – Safmarine’s traditional and core reefer market - while identifying opportunities for mutual growth in markets such as Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.”
Rooms says that while Safmarine, as the carrier, is responsible for maintaining the temperature of a reefer container at a defined level between point of acceptance and point of delivery, its responsibility to the cargo goes beyond that of merely transporting the cargo from A to B.

“Transporting highly perishable cargo is also an opportunity to offer our customers the benefits of our many years of experience in the reefer trade, as well as the expertise of our people - our ‘reefer specialists’ located in countries around the world - who are there to guide reefer shippers on matters such as sanitisation, pre-cooling and packaging.

He says by being more than a carrier, Safmarine is able to help to ensure that the cargo – which has benefited from high levels of care during the production process – is packed and transported in the best possible manner to ensure it reaches the market in optimum condition.

“As Global Reefer Manager for Safmarine, I conduct regular information sessions in key countries to ensure that all those Safmarine employees who deal with perishable cargo, have the knowledge and the expertise they need to take best care of the cargo.

“During these educational workshops, I always emphasise that a refrigerated container cannot be expected to enhance the condition of cargo during the voyage.

The condition in which the cargo arrives at destination is determined by its condition before shipment and the manner in which is it handled prior to seaborne transportation.”

Safmarine has for many years been known as the carrier where people make the difference and sharing its reefer expertise is but one of many ways in which the carrier makes that difference for its customers.

But, says Rooms, “We’re also a company committed to providing more value for our customers by offering the levels of support and solutions that genuinely respond to the needs of our customers and their business and by being flexible, partnership-minded, accessible, caring and always willing to go the extra mile - factors which are essential in reefer shipping.

“In short, we are driven by our customers’ priorities and their business - “Together we can go places”.