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noted, whilst, on a smaller scale, shippers customer providing what Mr Villers describes HC in its New York, Wisconsin and California
such as some coffee growers in Hawaii prefer as "harvest-to-cup" protection. warehouses for premium coffee beans. March 2010
to provide hermetic protection at the bag "Various forms of hermetic storage for
level, using flexible, lightweight (0.078mm
High capacity
cocoa beans, coffee beans and other dry
thick) SuperGrainbags, which use the same commodities have proved to be a cost-
ultra-low permeability, co-extruded multi-layer
bags also popular
effective answer for growers, traders, ship-
plastic as the TranSafeliner. The special Where forklifts and pallets are available, much pers, and processors," Mr Villers concluded,
advantage of the use of the SuperGrainbags, larger SuperGrainbags with 1 to 2.5 tonne noting that at costs of in the order of
is that they can be used for storage by the capacity known as the SuperGrainbags-HC US$0.01 or less per kilo stored, the shift to
producer, prior to shipment, and the products for ‘high capacity’ are used. In the US, for this safer and convenient form of storage is
thus remains protected all the way to the end instance, Royal Coffee uses SuperGrainbags- accelerating. ■ C&CI
Shipping line expects
Safmarine, one of the
world’s leading
business as usual
carriers of cocoa and
coffee beans in
containers, says it
idier Willemse, head of Safmarine’s Commodity Desk and Commercial Manager told
believes it is unlikely that
: "We do not expect to see any major change in the way cocoa beans, cocoa
derivates and coffee beans are transported, particularly in the trade from Africa.
any new trends for trans-
Coffee beans shipped from Africa are transported exclusively in bags, in containers, and it is
porting cocoa and coffee
unlikely that there will be a swing to conventional (in bulk, in vessels) transportation."
Mr Willemse notes that approximately 80 per cent of the world’s cocoa originates from
beans will emerge in
West Africa and here too, there is unlikely to be any change in the way the beans and
2010, but says freight
derivates (such as cocoa butter and cake) are transported.
rates for coffee and
"We foresee that cocoa beans ex-Africa will continue to be shipped either in containers
(in bags and in bulk), in mega-bulk (placed directly in the ships hold) or in breakbulk (in
cocoa have held up
bags, in the hold of the vessel)," Mr Willemse told C&CI. Cocoa derivates (cocoa butter and
better than most trades
cocoa powder) from West Africa are transported exclusively in cartons in containers.
Mr Willemse says cocoa and coffee prices have increased considerably in the past year,
over the last 12 months
which has been a pleasing trend for the African producers. "These commodities are attracting
a lot of investment. Similar to gold, they’re being seen as secure investments in a highly
unpredictable financial market."
2009 shipping volumes were also more posi-
tive than those for other commodities, according
Transporting cocoa and coffee – at a glance
to Willemse, who has been involved in shipping Coffee beans
for almost 30 years. "Carriers of cocoa and cof- ■ In containers, in bags: 20ft containers only; bags filled with coffee beans are loaded
fee were fortunate because volumes for these directly on the floor of the container; 17 tons of coffee per 20ft container; container is
commodities weren’t as seriously impacted by sometime lined with dryer bags and carton before bags of coffee beans are loaded.
the global economic downturn as were volumes ■ In containers, in bulk: 20ft containers only; shipper provides liner bags – container
for other commodities, such as timber," he is lined with liner bag before loose beans are added; 21 tons of coffee beans per 20ft
explained. container.
"Moreover, because global companies have
invested in grinding plants, we’ve also seen Cocoa beans
increasing volumes of cocoa derivates (such as ■ In bags in containers: in either 20ft or 40ft containers; 20ft containers = 12.5 tons; 40ft
cocoa butter) from West Africa. In fact, while = 25 tons; due to humidity of cocoa beans, the container is always lined with dryer bags
Safmarine didn’t see a ‘boom’ in volumes, we and carton before bags of beans are loaded.
were able to maintain – and even increase - our ■ In containers, in bulk: in 20ft containers only – up to 17 tons; liner bags used for front
cocoa and coffee volumes slightly during bulkhead.
2009." ■ Megabulk: 4,000–5,000 tons or more directly into vessel hold.
Freight rates for commodities such as cocoa ■ Breakbulk: in bags in the hold. Can be in pre-slung bags; up to 5,000 tons.
being shipped out of West Africa remained rela- (When cocoa beans are transported (whether in containers in bulk or in bags but also as
tively stable, he explained, even though on some megabulk or in pre-slung bags) it is important to remember that the beans contain humidity
other trades they hit record lows in 2009. and this moisture content must be limited for transportation. The most important job for
However, Mr Willemse says getting rates up - par- shippers at the origin port is to test the relative humidity and ascertain that it remains at the
ticularly on the south bound leg to West and East requisite of maximum 8 per cent).
Africa - remains a challenge for shipping lines.
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