Bringing more last-mile solutions to Kenyan fruit, vegetable, and flower businesses, Panalpina Global has invested US$4.9m in a new cold storage facility at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Panalpina president, Stefan Karlen said the new investment confirms the firm’s faith in Kenya’s fresh fruit, vegetable, and flower business.
Currently, the company operates a 3,500 square meter facility, with the investment extending it an additional 1,500m.
“We started off [operations in Nairobi] with five jobs in 2015 before raising it to 200 employees when we partnered with Airflo and after we bought out the 75 per cent majority stake in 2016, we have since expanded our services and now employ 300 staff members,” Karlen said.
Kenya Airport Authority managing director Jonny Andersen said he sees opportunity for goods to be sold directly to American markets, where it currently exports mainly textiles. Kenya also was approved to access China with avocados and mangoes.
Business Daily reported Panalpina currently handles 65,000 tonnes of fresh produce targeted to increase to 80,000 by 2020.
The company also said in a statement that Kenyan products are becoming more prominent in existing (mostly European) markets, but also in new ones, for example in Asia-Pacific.
The company currently handles export of Kenyan produce to 26 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the US.