Maersk has begun construction of a new cold storage facility in St. Petersburg to address the needs of Russia’s high-demand market. The three-chamber warehouse will offer specialized space to extend the life cycle of perishable goods as well as store frozen food products.
A ground-breaking ceremony held on June 5 to kick off the project was attended by Maersk CEO Søren Skou, Fyffes CEO David McCann, and representatives of regional and federal governments.
Constructed by the Russian industrial developer PNK Group, the Maersk Cold Chain Distribution Centre Sankt facility is being located within the PNK Park Sofiyskaya KAD in St. Petersburg and will feature 23,700 square meters of space, with 35 docks able to handle daily throughput from up to 200 trucks. The maximum storage capacity will be over 50,000 tons and the fully Maersk-operated warehouse will employ over 200 people.
Approximately 40% of the inland container depot will be dedicated to Fyffes company fruits, with the remaining capacity available for other customers in frozen as well as non-frozen produce segments. Once operational, the coldstore will enable Maersk to offer Russian customers services that include pick/pack, CHB, consumer packaging, and transport by road and rail.
The facility will feature separate storage chambers for frozen products (-25°C) and chilled items (+2/+8°C), as well as space for bananas, which require a specific temperature of +13°C.
“I am extremely proud of this project, which is the first coldstore of its kind on the Russian market,” said Zsolt Katona, Maersk’s managing director for Eastern Europe. “We are committed to helping our reefer 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.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Fyffes Chairman McCann remarked: “This ground-breaking is a very important milestone in our strategy to grow business in Russia. As the largest importer of bananas in Europe, we are 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.”
Having surpassed Germany in 2017, the Russian Federation is the second largest importer of bananas in the world after the United States. Imports of fruit to Russia increased during 2018, with banana shipments advancing by 1%, citrus fruits rising 7.4%, and apples up by nearly 13.5% compared to the year before. Analysts expect fruit consumption in the growing market to continue to increase in the coming years.
“Maersk is transforming to deliver integrated end-to-end solutions for our customers’ supply chains. While growing our Ocean activities in line with the market, investing in unbroken cold chain offerings is one of the levers we pull to accelerate our non-Ocean business and grow ahead of the market,” said CEO Skou.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, A.P. Moller – Maersk has been ranked as the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996. The integrated container logistics and global leader in shipping services conducts business in 130 countries and employs approximately 76,000 people around the world. Operating income in 2016 was $6.767 billion, with net income hitting $1.897 billion. The company’s total assets that year topped $61 billion.