Maersk’s new 50 000-ton Maersk’s new 50 000-ton cold store facility in Russia

Maersk’s new 50 000-ton Maersk’s new 50 000-ton cold store facility in Russia

By Benjamin Brits

After just 9 months from ground-breaking at the site in 2019, After just 9 months from ground-breaking at the site in 2019, the new facility was officially opened in April 2020.

This major hub is the largest cold store in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 3-chamber warehouse not only offers cold facilities for foods but includes specialised solutions in extending the life cycle of other perishable goods.
The new facility was built purely to address the needs of a high-demand Russian market. In the near future the facility will also offer freezing capabilities in a separate storage chamber for frozen produce (-25°C).

In June 2019, the ground-breaking ceremony for the new warehouse took place and was also attended by Maersk CEO Søren Skou, Fyffes CEO David McCann and representatives of the regional and federal Russian administration.

Constructed by the Russian industrial developer PNK Group, the facility is located within the PNK Park, Sofiyskaya KAD in St. Petersburg and has created employment for over 200 employees.

The facility has teams working 24/7 in order to manage demand. Image credit: MaerskThe facility has teams working 24/7 in order to manage demand. Image credit: Maersk

Open for business

The first produce to be handled at the new facility brought in pears from Argentina. After a 26-day journey as an end-to-end solution for a client, the produce was unloaded swiftly into the chilled chamber operating at a temperature of 0.5 Celsius. In total, the initial delivery was more than 60 refrigerated containers.

“The full end-to-end offering we have created will allow our customers to enjoy shorter overall lead times, predictable costs and best in class service,” said Zsolt Katona, Managing Director, Eastern Europe at Maersk during the inauguration of the first reefer container arriving at the facility.
Additionally, making it into some of the very first deliveries to the store were grapes and apples from South Africa. There was a particular focus on the citrus export season from South Africa and with the improved South Africa to Europe service, Maersk will now be able to offer South Africa exporters a full solution of delivery at final destination.

In April 2020, to offset the scarcity of reefer containers in South Africa and ahead of the citrus season, in support of the nation’s agricultural sector, Maersk brought in 1 800 empty refrigerated containers from the Middle East as additional stock to serve customers. Reefer containers have been scarce in South Africa due to the imbalance in trade flows impacted by the various lockdowns around the world and high demand for South African fruits.

The new cold store can handle a capacity of 200 trucks per day. Image credit: MaerskThe new cold store can handle a capacity of 200 trucks per day. Image credit: Maersk

The new cold store has a total capacity of more than 40 000 pallets in 3 chambers and uses CO2 cooling, which makes it the largest commercial cold store in Russia using this new technology. Over the next months, as part of its cold chain management products Maersk will also establish at this particular destination, site customs clearance, bonded cold storage (frozen) and phyto-sanitary/veterinary services, as increased interest by both current and prospective customers underpins Maersk’s strategy of providing integrated solutions for reefer logistics.

The new cold store can accommodate more than 40 000 pallets. Image credit: Maersk


The new cold store can accommodate more than 40 000 pallets. Image credit: Maersk


Design specification

The cold store was designed to ensure the building is highly energy efficient and was fitted with the latest cooling technology (CO2). As the facility is also open 24/7 this was also factored into the specifications.

As an Inland container depot and with various future demands in mind, Maersk required a 3-chamber storage facility to cater to various cooling needs of these perishable products being +13˚/+6˚/-25˚C respectively.

Further demand calculations required >40 000 pallet locations, >50 000 tons storage capacity, pick and pack options, handling of customised packages and further delivery to various Russian destinations by road and rail.

The almost 24 000m², storage area was also designed with 35 docks that are able to serve a daily throughput of up to 200 trucks.

Logistics solutions and technology

This facility is one of the latest additions to the logistics solutions of the global Maersk network and their global footprint means their facilities are able to handle many supply chain goods, and in particular participate extensively in the cold chain. The company’s strategy of combining shipping with warehousing and distribution enables a convenient end-to-end solution with fewer service providers in between and time delays on perishable goods. The recipe results in speed, control and tracking – all of which are essential for the sector.

Their storage solutions are further underpinned by large investment in technology, automation and robotics and are soon to add AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), automated sorters and hybrid systems, all of which deliver superior efficiencies, all of which are supported by an IT landscape consisting of best-in-class warehouse management systems. This provides clients with integration capabilities and improved accuracy, allowing quick responses to any events (foreseen or unforeseen as with the global pandemic) in the supply chain.

Click here to read the issue of Cold Link Africa 


 

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