Del Monte makes Cameroon switch

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Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

Del Monte makes Cameroon switch

Company will send its Cameroon banana volumes to Europe on container services operated by Maersk Line

Del Monte makes Cameroon switch

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Fresh produce multinational Fresh Del Monte has switched its entire banana deal out of Cameroon from conventional reefer vessels operated by Africa Express Line to container services run by Maersk Line.

The move means Del Monte's Cameroon bananas will no longer be discharged at the Port of Dover in the UK, with most of the volumes involved set to be handled at Belgium's Port of Antwerp.

Although finalised details of Maersk's plans for the Continent remain unconfirmed, Fruitnet.com understands that it is "highly likely" the majority of Del Monte's banana volumes out of Cameroon will now be discharged in Antwerp.

"Maersk Line will be the main carrier of Del Monte's Cameroon shipments to mainland Europe, although it seems as though limited volumes to the Mediterranean will not be shipped by Maersk," said a leading industry insider.

Del Monte's Cameroon banana deal with Maersk will involve the shipment of approximately 5,000 containers per year.

Africa Express Line currently operates two main services out of Cameroon's Port of Douala: the Maxi Cam Service, which calls at Dover before arriving in Antwerp, and the Med Service, which discharges in Southern France's Port Vendres.

In the UK, Maersk operates import services and cut-offs from a number of major UK ports, including Felixstowe, Thamesport, Tilbury, Southampton and Liverpool, as well as dedicated daily feeder services from the Port of Grangemouth.

Danish shipping giant Maersk is understood to have held a minority holding in Cameroonian banana plantation company Société des Plantations de M’banga since 2004 and is a key player at the country’s Port Autonome de Douala, from where it operates a container terminal and shipping services to Europe.

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