Maersk coldstore Russia Fyffes

Representatives of Maersk, Fyffes, regional and federal Russian administration and Russian industrial developer PNK Group, at the ceremony marking the start of construction.

A new 50,000-tonne capacity, three-chamber cold store warehouse is being constructed in St Petersburg by Maersk.

Approximately 40 per cent of the new warehouse will be occupied by leading fresh fruit company Fyffes. The remaining capacity will be available for other customers from the fresh produce and frozen produce segments.

The facility is 23,700m2 and has 35 docks to serve up to 200 trucks daily. It will offer separate storage chambers for frozen produce (-25°C), chilled (2°C to 8°C), and bananas, which require a specific temperature of 13°C.

Maersk is constructing the facility, in part, to address a growing demand for fruit in Russia. In 2018, imports of fruit to Russia increased, with banana imports going up by 1 per cent, citrus fruits by 7.4 per cent and apples by nearly 13.5 per cent compared to the year before.

Russia has been second largest importer of bananas in the world since 2017, surpassing Germany to sit behind the US.

“I am extremely proud of this project, which is the first such coldstore on the Russian market,” said Zsolt Katona, managing director for Eastern Europe at Maersk.

“As Maersk, we are committed to helping our refrigeration customers in all aspects of their supply chain needs. Those needs go well beyond transportation and storage is a crucial element we are now addressing.”

David McCann, chairman of Fyffes, spoke at the ceremony for the facility and said the development was an important milestone in the company’s plan to grow its business in Russia.

“As the largest importer of bananas in Europe, Fyffes is delighted to partner with Maersk in this new warehouse development, which will increase our ripening capacity in Russia to over 200,000 boxes of bananas per week,” he said.