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Dutch dockside cold storage concerns now sitting even prettier than before.

New EEC regulations call for inspection of all incoming meat at ports of entry. Meanwhile, warehouse rates remain flat and concern is expressed about looming overcapacity inland.

Holland, known as the gateway to Europe by exporters and importers for the last half-century, is a major trans-shipment center for frozen commodity products and a growing list of value-added items such as ice cream. World class deep water ports link huge container traffic directly to high speed road and rail connections that lead to the Continent's population centers. That spells booming commerce in frozen concentrated juices, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.

Rotterdam is where much of the action is, and Kloosterboer Cold Stores (Vriesvemen Kloosterboer) is right in the middle of it all with 80,000 cubic meters of space on the quayside. Operated as a joint venture with Europe Combined Terminals (ECT), the brand new facility was full up when Quick Frozen Foods International magazine toured the premises in October.

"You will find that distribution warehouses situated at entry ports are doing quite well, while those inland that have historically relied on intervention (government-subsidized) stocks are in trouble now that they have to compete for business," said Alex Kloosterboer. He is one of four brothers who run the largest independent coldstore concern in the Netherlands. Among them some 600,000 cubic meters of space are maintained in Rotterdam, Ijmuden, Vlissingen (Flushing) and Elst.

During QFFI's visit, Citrovita FCOJ from Brazil was being off-loaded from the anchored Yasuka Reefer of Tokyo. Stevedores skillfully guided the drums from deck to dock by crane, where an awaiting forklift truck moved the frozen assets into an adjacent coldstore in a matter of seconds. An estimated one-million tons of various products are handled this way annually.

With customs officials on the scene around the clock, the bonded warehouse features a number of services including the blending of concentrates, tunnel freezing, weighing, counting, sampling, sorting and repacking.

Kloosterboer is gearing up for increased activities after Jan. 1. That is when stricter EEC regulations come into effect requiring all meat imports into Europe to be inspected at port terminals of entry. "We are in the right place at the right time," said Alex.

While involved in providing all sorts of customer services (including forwarding assistance), actual transportation is not among them. "You make little enough money in the cold storage business, but even less in transport," joked Kloosterboer.

Not to worry, though. Frigoscandia Transport BV has offices on site. The groupage facility specializes in putting together LTL shipments to destinations across Europe.


Another major player in Rotterdam is Eurofrigo BV. But bar a favorable ruling from the courts, it will probably have to vacate a prime harborside facility by June 1. That's when landlord ECT, which has entered into a joint venture with Kloosterboer, wants Eurofrigo out.

Looking ahead to assure there is adequate space for clients, the Nichirei Corp. subsidiary is constructing a new 125,000 cubic meter capacity refrigerated warehouse just off the A-15 motorway some five minutes away from headquarters. Total Rotterdam area capacity will be 300,000 square meters. Other Eurofrigo facilities are in Roermond and along the Dutch-German border in Venlo. The latter specializes in frozen french fry and vegetable storage and distribution.

"We are 95% full now in Rotterdam, and are probably averaging 80% capacity for the entire group," said Kees Smit, managing director. "Turns have been good, with products steadily moving in and out."

With an eye toward eastward opportunities, he noted that representatives from at least five companies have talked to him about routing USA commodity foodstuffs through Rotterdam to Russia by truck. The aid would be financed by the IMF. Coldstores in Hamburg would presumably also play a part in this effort.

Eurofrigo, along with Thermo-traffic is Germany, stand poised to move food assistance into eastern Europe this winter if required. The refrigerated transport sister company's expertise lies in providing forwarding services. And in Rotterdam shippers are offered everything from customs clearance and storage to packing and repacking, picking, sorting, labeling and veterinary inspection.


Harderwijk-headquartered Beemsterboer Coldstore Services BV commands 350,000 cubic meters of refrigerated warehouse space in Holland. Its Amsterdam operation, situated on the Elbaweg just a few hundred meters from the bustling CTA docks, was recently expanded by 20,000 cubes to boost total capacity to 100,000 meters.

Th. W.M. van Sambeeck, managing director, told QFFI that in October the Amsterdam quayside facility received the first of 21 charter vessels from Brazil laden with juice concentrate. The consolidated shipment came from six exporters who loaded drums at Santos and Salvador harbors. Large orange crops in Brazil should keep the pipeline pouring for a while.

Beemsterboer added a former Christian Salvesen warehouse in Meppel to its network last year. Originally built to exclusively store Iglo products, van Sambeeck sees good possibilities there to attract business from a number of potato and vegetable processors with customers in nearby Germany.

With other coldstores in Warmenhuizen and Marknesse, specialist frozen food logistic services is the company's main selling point. It offers everything from juice drumming and emptying facilities to customs clearance assistance, packing and transportation. Among clients are Aviko, Lamb-Weston, Iglo-Ola and Haagen-Dazs. For the latter, Beemsterboer has been trans-shipping USA-made premium ice cream from Rotterdam to Amsterdam for the past few years. Constantly maintained at - 26 [degrees], the product is re-palletized and centrally warehoused for European distribution. Orders are picked daily and trucked to customers as far north as Scandinavia and as far south as Italy

It's a nice operation, but it will come to an end in 1993 as cold stores have been built at Haagen-Dazs' new factory in France. So we are looking for another tenant to take their place," said van Sambeeck.

Van Bon

One inland distribution warehouse that reports continued brisk activity is Van Bon Cold Storage. Situated at Beneden-Leeuwen in central Holland, the facility is especially utilized to serve clients in Germany and Switzerland.

Business was said to be so good at times last year that additional capacity had to be rented to accommodate surges in volume. Plans call for adding 60,000 more cubic meters in 1993, which would raise total capacity to 130,000.

"We're seeing a lot of inbound traffic of juices, fruits and fish," said Wim van Bon, chief executive. "Orange juice comes from Brazil, Florida and Israel several times a week. Lemon concentrates and fruits arrive from South Africa, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Mexico."

Van Bon's network includes a warehouse for chilled and frozen food products in Flushing.

Lying between Rotterdam and Antwerp, the southern port city should benefit from the new EEC veterinary regulation mandating inspection of all meat imports at entry point starting Jan. 1.

Interestingly, the managing director noted that more seafood was trans-shipped over the last 12 months than during any previous year. The mix was wide, ranging from finfish to calamari to lobsters. He added that tropical drink demand in Europe has grown appreciably. It isn't just orange juice anymore, but also pineapple, mango, guava and assorted blends."


Twenty years ago, P. Blankendaal and J. Bleeker were both working for Agrico, one of the leading potato cooperatives in the Netherlands. But then they lost track of each other for 17 years - one started a small cold store, the other went into the cattle business.

A chance meeting on Malta, where Bleeker was buying potatoes, brought the old friends back together - only as more than friends: they co-founded Daalimpex, which has since become one of the most successful frozen food warehousing operations in the country.

Just last year, Daalimpex invested some 25 million guilders in new plants at Velsen and Harlingen. The company now runs more than 350,000 cubic meters of cold storage, and annual stevedoring operations total over 300,000 tons.

Blankendaal mans the company's head office in Tuitjenhorn, while Bleeker holds down the branch in Beverwijk - a small town that just happens to be the largest potato port in the world. Together, they say they have a single secret for success: The Customer is King. Their cold stores are all located on the waterfront, which cuts transportation, handling and other costs.

QFFI's survey of leading Dutch warehousemen found a consensus regarding what direction rates were likely to go. This comment was typical: "They are holding steady for now, but should be adjusted a minimum of 4% to match inflation - or even raised 5 to 6%. Nobody has yet dared to do it, though, for fear of losing business."

That could all change, however, if surplus potatoes find markets in Russia and eastern Europe. Such a scenario would likely result in warehouses filling up by December, thus putting a premium on space for a short time.

Some concern was expressed regarding the potential of overcapacity looming a year or so from now, when a number of new private cold-stores and plants come on line.

One warehouseman cautioned that danger lurks not so much at home, but rather across the eastern border. "Much of what we store in the Netherlands goes to Germany So we have to watch that the intervention-starved coldstores there don't take our customers away"

Another Dutch operator was not worrying at all. He pointed out that costs associated with warehousing frozen food in Germany are almost double those in Holland. "And real estate, construction and labor rates are not going to go down there relative to here."

Seafrigo Consolidates FF

Seafrigo USA, New York, N.Y., has launched an exclusive frozen food consolidation service to Europe. It is said to be the first service allowing smaller FF exporters to ship their products to Europe by sea.

The company loads 40-foot containers with consolidated shipments at Perth Amboy, New Jersey, with ships leaving for the company's warehouse in Le Havre, France, about once a month. Transit time is about 10 days. Once at Le Havre, shipments can be broken up and delivered by land to destinations all over Europe.

Christian Salvesen To Boost

North American FF Economy

A $20 million frozen food distribution center, with Rich Products Corp. as the primary client, is being built at West Seneca, N.Y., USA, for Christian Salvesen, Inc.

The facility, which is expected to provide nearly 3,000 jobs and pump $622 million a year into the area's economy, is being situated on a 20-acre site at the North America Center, an industrial park developed as a joint venture by the Allied Group and Nanco Developers.

Completion is set for January, 1994, and Christian Salvesen has signed a 15-year lease for the 200,000-square foot facility. Rich Products, which makes frozen doughs, creamers, sweet goods, and other products, has made a long-term commitment with Salvesen and is expected to account for about 60% of the business at the distribution center. Negotiations with other FF companies are under way.

The facility's location puts it within eight hours' drive of eighty million people in the United States and Canada, and the plant will be served by on-site U.S. and Canadian customs services as well as rail and truck transport connections. Salvesen will be able to consolidate shipments from Rich and other companies to destinations within its reach, thus reducing inventory and shipping costs.

New Distribution Center

Coming Soon to Illinois

In April, there'll be a new 6.2 million cubic foot frozen food master distribution center in East Dubuque, Illinois, USA.

To be operated by Freezer Services, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, the facility is being built by Superior Industries of Nebraska, Inc., also based in Omaha. Dennis Dieck has already been named plant manager. The one-story structure, 38.6 feet high, will be divided into four sections with different temperature levels separeted by insulated walls. It will feature 42 loading docks, plus an adjacent parking and staging area for trucks, plus a rail siding. Services available to customers will include order picking, bulk storage, cross-dock, export, blast-freezing, weight, weight labeling, and loose meat handling and boxing.

Arizona Desert is Backdrop

For IARW/TRRF Meetings

The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses and The Refrigeration Research Foundation will hold their 1993 convention and trade show in Tucson, Arizona, USA. The Westin La Paloma resort hotel will be headquarters for the April 24-29 event.

Two post-convention tours will be offered. One will entail visiting public refrigerated warehouses and agricultural areas in Mexico while the other features a study mission to Egypt, Turkey and Greece.

Registration information is available by contracting IARW at: 7315 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1200N, Bethesda, Maryland 20814 USA; Fax: 301-652-7269.
COPYRIGHT 1993 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Title Annotation:Warehousing World
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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