MSC is to launch a dedicated rail service for reefer cargoes and plans to invest in a new cold store as it expands its operations in Spain.
Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, world’s second largest liner shipping company, also hopes its affiliate company Terminal Investment Ltd will secure the operating concession for Valencia’s new T4 complex. An announcement on this is expected in October.
Addressing delegates at the Cool Logistics Global conference in Valencia, Ignacio Ballester, managing director, MSC Spain, said: “We are preparing ourselves for growth in Spain’s reefer trades and the ongoing demands of our customers. By the end of this month we will be running a dedicated train between Zaragoza and Valencia for perishable cargoes and we hope to have secured permission to build a new cold store in the logistics zone at the port of Valencia.”
Speaking to WCN after the presentation, the executive said the train service would carry up to 25 containers of frozen meat mainly for export to Asia. “We will operate the train service on a weekly basis but expect to upgrade its frequency to twice a week quickly, subject to customer demand".
Ballester expects MSC to be given the go ahead to build its 25,000m2 warehouse soon. “The planning process has taken a while but we expect to be given the green light for the development shortly,” he said. It represents an investment of approximately €20M and it will feature rooms able to accommodate a full range of chilled and frozen cargoes.”
MSC’s planned investment in Valencia strengthens its position in the port and also the Spanish port’s role in the Mediterranean. “Valencia is the best option in the Mediterranean for the transport of perishable products as we have excellent connectivity with the five continents,” said Aurelio Martínez, president of Autoridad Portuaria de Valencia.
Also addressing the conference, he said the port of Valencia was the European capital of perishable goods logistics. “One of the main challenges of this [reefer] logistics sector is the continuous search for the reduction of transport times, a basic aspect to guarantee the quality of perishable products,” claimed Martínez. “For this it is essential the connectivity of the port, the decrease in logistics processes and the increase in the efficiency of intermodal processes works and this is the case in Valencia.
In 2018, Valencia handled over 5M TEU, an estimated 10% to 12% of which comprised reefer containers.