PETERSBURG: June 2019,Maersk has begun the construction of its first 50,000-tonne cold store facility in Russia with a ground-breaking ceremony on June 05 attended by Maersk CEO Søren Skou and representatives of the regional and federal Russian government.
The facility 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.
Constructed by Russian industrial developer PNK Group, the warehouse will be located within the PNK Park Sofiyskaya KAD in St. Petersburg and has an area of 23,700 square metres with 35 docks able to serve daily throughput of up to 200 trucks supported by over 200 employees.
Forty percent of the new building will be allocated to European fruit company Fyffes with the remaining capacity available for end-to-end solutions for other customers.
“I am extremely proud of this project, which is the first such cold store on the Russian market,” said Maersk managing director for Eastern Europe Zsolt Katona. “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.”
Speaking at the ceremony Fyffes chairman David McCann said: “Today’s ground-breaking is a very important milestone in Fyffes’ strategy to grow our business in Russia. As the largest importer of bananas in Europe, Fyffes is delighted to partner with Maersk in this new warehouse development, which will increase our ripening capacity in Russia to over 200 thousand boxes of bananas per week.”
In 2018, imports of fruit to Russia increased with banana imports rising 1.0 percent, citrus fruits by 7.4 percent and apples by nearly 13.5 percent compared to the previous year. In 2017 Russia surpassed Germany to become the second largest importer of bananas in the world after the US.
“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”, added Maersk CEO Søren Skou.