Summer Citrus from South Africa continues raising the bar and breaking records!
As we serve the world’s most demanding market, executing this unique program with excellence is the primary focus of all participants throughout the total supply chain in South Africa and the U.S.
The Summer Citrus program is a unique model of collaboration connecting multiple service providers, starting with growers, exporters, bilateral entities, cold store facilities, shipping lines, logistical companies, importers, and the trade, to ensure the available supply meets the demand of the U.S. market. For the group, sustained growth is a core objective.
The demand for citrus from South Africa has been growing and the available supply of fruit followed suit. The last few seasons have shown sustained program growth of almost 2.5 times from 2019 to 2022.
As we are now in our 25th season of shipping citrus to the U.S., the expansion of our total supply chain is another reason for us to celebrate. We are in a good position to sustain the planned future growth of the program within the next 3-5 years. By adding the seasonal container port into Philadelphia along with our dedicated conventional vessel, we now have sufficient shipping opportunities. We have also expanded the cold storage facilities here in South Africa focusing on the U.S. program to sustain our shipping plan.
Earlier in the season we loaded the largest container vessel our group has ever done! We reached 250 40ft containers with the MSC Mattina and did it again when we loaded the MSC Capucine in early August carrying 290 40ft containers, equivalent to almost 6,000 pallets. For our group, successfully executing this number of loads requires a commitment and a focus on the U.S. program from all the service providers involved.
During the time we loaded the MSC Capucine, we also sat down with one of our larger service providers and cold storage facilities SAFT. Ockert Henning, Managing Director of the SAFT group, and I talked about the U.S. program, their groups’ investment in South Africa, and the unique challenges we are faced with here in this region. You will see beautiful footage of South Africa, the operational side of our program and a state-of-the-art facility along with the loading of our record-breaking container vessel, the MSC Capucine, with the beautiful Table Mountain in the background.
Choosing the right partners and building long-term commercial relationships, form the backbone of our business.
We will soon conclude our season on the packing side, however our fruit will continue to arrive throughout October, with Navels, Easy Peelers, and Midknights.
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