News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Tom Joyce

BY TOM JOYCE

@tomfruitnet

New link connects Dunkirk with Ecuador

The Port of Dunkirk has seen its marine transport network with South America strengthen thanks to the launch of an Ecuador-Peru-Dunkirk-Suriname link

New link connects Dunkirk with Ecuador

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From this month, Dutch shipping line Seatrade Reefer Chartering is linking up ports in Ecuador, Peru and Suriname with the port of Dunkirk in France.

The decision comes one year after the extension of the NEFWI (North Europe French West Indies) service, operated by CMA CGM in conjunction with Marfret, with the addition of the ports of Moin (Costa Rica), Cartagena and Santa Marta (Colombia).

The new link is an initiative of French importer SIIM, a leading pineapple producer in Ecuador with 2,000ha cultivated in-house and packaged under the Terrasol brand for the European market. The weekly service will further enhance the position of the port of Dunkirk as the leading French port for temperature-controlled products.

The ports of Puerto Bolivar and Guayaquil (Ecuador), as well as Paita (Peru), will increase the market share of Dunkirk in the fruit and vegetable sector, for bananas, pineapples, avocados and tropical fruits. The port of Paramaribo (Suriname) will also provide a prime destination for exporters.

The Seatrade shipping line will reportedly provide the port of Dunkirk with an “FDD” (Fast, Direct & Dedicated) service, with sea times of 15-19 days. The line calls at the Terminal des Flandres, the container operator of the port of Dunkirk, at the end of the day on Sundays, allowing fresh produce to be made available from the start of the following week.

"Dunkirk Port, for some years, has been recognised for the processing of temperature-controlled products," said Stéphane Raison, president of the executive board. "Following developments and upgrades in terms of shipping and inspection services, we have observed greater interest on the part of importers of products from the fruit and vegetable and fisheries sector. We are clearly placing the emphasis on logistics for all these sectors of perishable products. I would like to thank SIIM international imports company via its managing director, Vincent Omer-Decugis, for his leading role in the decision of the Seatrade shipping line to call at Dunkirk. SIIM will be the first shipper on this new service importing Ecuadorean fruit."

Omer-Decugis commented: "The opening of this direct, dedicated line, which will enable delivery of our pineapples from Ecuador to Dunkirk in 14 days, is of genuine satisfaction after several months of work between our teams and those of Seatrade and all the Dunkirk port community, whose great professionalism I should like to salute. Thanks also to Stéphane Raison, president of Dunkirk port, for his renewed confidence and his constant support to make this new essential service possible, which will enable a direct connection between the main producer country worldwide of pineapples and bananas to its French and European markets, via Dunkirk."

Walter Wildöer, general manager of Seatrade, added: “We are proud to announce that our Direct Reefer Rayo service will add a port call at the Terminal des Flandres, the container terminal of the port of Dunkirk. This additional port call will allow a direct connection between Ecuador, Peru and the French market in 14 days and will also create a direct link with Suriname. A first port call will be made by the Pacific Reefer. Port calls will continue every week after that during the summer of 2020."

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