Maersk has launched the construction of a new cold store facility in St. Petersburg. The 3-chamber warehouse will offer specialised solutions extending the life cycle of perishable goods.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the new warehouse took place on June 5 in the presence of Maersk CEO Soren Skou, Fyffes Chairman David McCann and representatives of Russian federal and regional administration.
A cording to S.Skou, the project is worth $30 mn. The facility will be located in the PNK Park Sofiyskaya KAD industrial park in St. Petersburg. It has 23,700 square metres, with 35 docks able to serve daily throughput of up to 200 trucks. The maximum storage capacity will be over 50,000 tons / 30,000 pallet locations. The facility will be Maersk-operated and will employ over 200 employees.
The warehouse will offer separate storage chambers for frozen produce (-25°C), chilled (+2/+8°C), as well as for bananas, which require a specific temperature of +13°C.
Approximately 40% of the new warehouse will be occupied by Europe’s leading fruit company Fyffes, with the remaining capacity available for other customers from the fresh and frozen produce segment. According to D.McCann, the new warehouse will increase Fyffes’ ripening capacity in Russia to over 200 thousand boxes of bananas per week.
In 2018, imports of fruit to Russia increased, with banana imports going up by 1%, citrus fruits by 7.4% and apples by nearly 13.5% compared to the year before. Experts expect fruit imports to continue to increase also in the coming years. Since 2017, Russia has been the second largest importer of bananas in the world, after the United States and surpassing Germany.
According to SeaNews’ data, in January-April this year citrus fruit import into Russia was up 14.6% year-on-year, and bananas import up 2.6%.
The warehouse will be constructed by the Russian industrial developer PNK Group. According to the developer, the building itself will be ready for installing equipment by the end of this year. The start of operations is scheduled for early 2020.
“I am extremely proud of this project, which is the first such cold store on the Russian market. As Maersk, 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”, said Zsolt Katona, Managing Director for Eastern Europe at Maersk.
“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 S.Skou.