Shipping company Maersk has changed its UK call on the ECUBEX South America reefer service (known as the Banana Boat) to Southampton’s DP World terminal.
The move to DP World Southampton ensures that speed to market and improved product shelf life is maintained for one of the UK’s biggest banana importers.
The main customer on this service is Fyffes which carries bananas from Ecuador and Colombia. 25,000 kgs of bananas are transported in one ‘reefer’ box - a refrigerated container is commonly known as a ‘reefer’.
The terminal’s direct daily rail connections to key inland distribution hubs and the fastest truck turnaround times of any UK port, are important for customers who need to reduce lead times and increase the freshness and shelf life of perishable produce by getting them to stores faster.
Nick Loader, UK Chief Operating Officer, DP World, explained; “The perishable and chilled goods industry relies on speed. DP World has the facilities including customs and food inspection posts as well as excellent inland connections to ensure we can deliver fast, high quality services levels for the UK’s supply chain.
“We are also able to provide shippers, like Fyffes, with increased visibility of their cargo. Using DP World’s online Where my container? tool, Fyffes can track and trace their cargo which makes shipping through the port simpler, more efficient and transparent, which is key for the perishable goods industry.
“It’s digital tools like this and market-leading customer service and productivity which makes trade smarter.”
DP World Southampton welcomed the first vessel on the service, the Maersk Brani, on Thursday 30th January 2020.
The size of vessel has also increased from 2,500 TEU to 2,900 TEU on this service. DP World has invested in additional ‘reefer’ connection points to accommodate the additional volumes, increasing its reefer connection capability by 20%.
John Hopkins, General Manager Imports and Logistics, Fyffes said: "The improved efficiency of the larger vessels supports our drive to reduce our environmental impacts."
DP World Southampton is the UK’s only deep water port on the South Coast capable of servicing the largest container vessels in the world.
The new service route will be Guayaquil – Manzanillo – Santa Marta – Southampton – Antwerp – Hamburg – Bremerhaven – Veracruz – Altamira – Puerto Moin – Manzanillo – Balboa.