MSC helps transport mangoes from Africa to Europe

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Colourful, juicy and packed with vitamins: it’s easy to see why mangoes are becoming more and more popular around the world

West Africa gets only six-weeks to harvest mangoes every year. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Producers in West Africa get only a six-week window to harvest these fruits every year. 

“Our logistical needs multiply by 30”

West Africa’s mango-picking season is remarkably short in comparison to other fruits. Bananas and pineapples, for example, are grown across the continent all year round, while South Africa’s blueberry season lasts six months.

“Mango production begins in April and ends in May,” explains Vincent Omer-Decugis, President and CEO of Omer-Decugis & Cie and CEO of SIIM. “During this time, our logistical needs multiply by 30.”

This dramatic shift requires a flexible and highly experienced shipping partner with the ability to react quickly and scale up support as needed. Attention to detail is also important, as mangoes are fragile, perishable goods and European retailers have very high expectations in terms of taste, texture, appearance and aroma.

“Forty-six weeks of preparation for six weeks of delivery puts all of our teams under immense pressure,” explains Vincent Omer-Decugis. “There is no room for error. Quality produce can’t be guaranteed without quality logistics.”

A natural partnership

Established in France in 1850, the Omer-Decugis Group is a sixth-generation family business. Like MSC, which is also family company, it has strong historic ties with Africa and many decades of experience in the fruit industry, which allows MSC to provide the flexible, local logistics support that SIIM needs.

“As family companies, MSC and the Omer-Decugis Group share many of the same values, from our commitment to caring for people to our strong focus on sustainability,” explains Clio Guagente, West Africa export trade manager, MSC. “It was very important to us to create a top-quality logistics solution that reflects these values and meets SIIM’s specific requirements.”

A seamless service with 24/7 support

Trucks operated by MEDLOG, MSC’s logistics arm, pick up the pre-cooled mangoes directly from SIIM’s packing plants in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Mali.  The containers from Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire then travel to the port of Abidjan, one of the major transshipment hubs in the Gulf of Guinea, to join MSC’s weekly ‘NWC – Canary – WAF’ service to Antwerp.

Throughout their 7,000+km journey to Europe, including nine to 11 days at sea, the mangoes remain in sealed reefer containers. These refrigerated units feature cutting-edge cooling and dehumidification technology to preserve freshness and protect against fruit flies.

SIIM’s customers then pick up the containers directly from the Port of Antwerp, where MSC can provide warehousing and storage space if necessary and within hours, the mangoes will appear on the supermarket shelves across Europe, from the UK to Cyprus.

Smart, scalable solutions

MSC’s global network and in-depth understanding of local markets allows them to offer competitive rates, fast transit times and customised solutions to meet customer needs.

Our transportation and logistics services enable businesses of all sizes to move produce safely and efficiently from one continent to another, facilitating international trade and helping emerging markets to grow.

For more information about MSC visit www.msc.com/mangoes?viewmode=0

African Farming

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