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Modern mastering of cold logistics: the CEGF story from Paris to Houston.

Modern Mastering of Cold Logistics: The CEGF Story From Paris to Houston Expansion and investment programs high priority for 1989-90. With 64 cold stores, this operator is second to none in PRW freezing capacity at 2,500 tons per day!

Paris-headquartered Compagnie des Entrepots et Gares Frigorifiques (CEGF) is the third-largest cold storage group in the world (Americold, in the United States is first, followed by the U.K.'s Christian Salvesen), offering services throughout Europe and even in the U.S.

Its facilities include 64 cold storage units on two continents with a total capacity of 2.5 million cubic meters. Most (57, with a capacity of two million) are in France, but there are also five in West Germany (360,000 cubic meters), and one each in Italy (65,000), the U.S. (80,000) and St. Pierre and Miquelon (15,000).

All told, these units have a freezing capacity of 2,500 tons a day, on the basis of which CEGF claims world leadership in the actual freezing (as opposed to storage) of food. CEGF also boasts a network of affiliates in Belgium, Britain, Spain, Greece, Switzerland and Austria.

Services provided by the international company include:

. Storage of large consignments of frozen raw materials and finished products.

. Freezing of meat and poultry from slaughterhouses or nearby butchering facilities.

. Providing meat processing facilities, and equipment for meat distribution.

. Custom freezing of vegetables using both specialized freezers and automated cabinet freezers.

. Providing central distribution facilities for processors, groups of processors, importers and exporters.

This last one is among the directions CEGF is now stressing to meet customer demand. The importance of serving the needs of private frozen food clientele has grown with the stabilization of EEC intervention stocks -- private business is still on the rise, and this, in the long run, has always been more reliable.

Major Equipment Upgrade

As part of its commitment to improved service, CEGF has researched and installed equipment to increase productivity of low-temperature handling. For example:

. A rapid unloading system, in coordination with the France Glaces Findus plant in Beauvais, that handles 30 pallets in only three minutes. It is linked with an automatic chamber entry.

. Self-propelled wire-guided trolleys to handle all frozen products, from entry to exit, at the Loudeac and Monchy cold stores.

. Special tongs for handling sides of meat, in order to speed productivity while reducing drudgery and accidents.

. Logistic management and administrative inventory management systems, using bar codes. Each pallet has a bar code which, when scanned, transmits data into the central computer before the pallet is loaded on a stacking truck.

. Direct computer links to customers interested in real-time communication.

To make it easier for people to work in the cold, all CEGF pallet trucks have heated cabins. Cold stores also feature mobile pallet racks, accumulation pallet racks, storax and translockers, making it possible to receive and process directly accessible 80 x 120 thermofilmed pallets in satisfactory storage ratios (in terms of cubic meters per stored pallet).

For 1989-90, CEGF's commitment to expanding services to the European food industry and international trade includes a capital investment program of 300 million francs (U.S. $ 48 million), with priorities on:

. Continued modernization of plant equipment to meet the pressing needs of customers: automation of handling procedures, installation of storage systems with a better pallet to cube ratio, and further development of computerization and computer links to customers.

. New plants to meet the needs of customers and the import-export sector.

. Expansion of the CEGF group's position in Europe (especially West Germany and Spain) and the United States (Tampa and Houston).

Le Havre Treatment

In France itself, the principal investment will be in Le Havre, where cold storage units belonging to Union Frigorifique Havraise will be expanded to 55,000 cubic meters to meet the needs of increasing container traffic. This expansion will streamline handling procedures.

At Toulouse, another cold store will be enlarged to 25,000 cubic meters to meet the needs of preparation and distribution of FF orders for a major distribution chain. A 55,000-cubic meter cold store will be built at Moreac, in Brittany, with a freezing capacity of 30 tons a day and a logistics distribution facility for poultry. And at Arras, yet another existing plant will be expanded to 85,000 cubic meters.

CEGF also plans to make major investments in other cold storage companies: ETFF in Nantes and Loudeac, SAGG in Vannes, EEEFP in Parthenay, EFN in Nantes, EFSM in St. Malo and Martigne Ferchaud, and EFSQ in Itancourt and St. Quentin. (The first three are CEGF subsidiaries, acquired in 1987.)

In the United States, through subsidiary CEFG USA, Inc. a second cold store is being developed in Houston as a joint venture with the Katy, Inc., group of Chicago. In West Germany, subsidiary Kulh Transit AG will build a 25,000-cubic meter addition to its Hamburg cold store.
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Title Annotation:Warehousing World; Compagnie des Entrepots et Gares Frigorifiques
Author:Fesq, Jacques
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1989
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