Savona - After six years away, Del Monte Fruit has returned to the docks of the Reefer Terminal at Vado Ligure. The American multinational, which is one of the three largest companies in the sector, along with Dole Food and Chiquita Brands International, is once again using Vado’s facilities to unload fruit cargo, in particular, bananas and pineapples from container ships out of South America.
In the coming weeks, contacts with APM Terminals will continue - in summer 2015, APM acquired the Reefer Terminal from the Orsero family’s GF Group - to see if the business can be intensified.
The Del Monte brand made Vado its home for over 30 years, from the time that Raffaello Orsero signed an agreement with Del Monte to make Vado Ligure the leading port of call in Europe for fruit imports, until 2011, when the agreement was dissolved. Since January 2012, Del Monte has used the Livorno Reefer Terminal to unload its fresh fruit, from CMA CGM’s ships. Now, however, some cargoes start their trips on ships from Maersk Line, which is part of the Danish AP Moeller Maersk Group. APM is the operational arm of the same group, managing its terminals.
Vado Ligure, which is awaiting the completion of its new multipurpose platform (entry into service expected early next year), is aiming to become once more the most important port of call for fruit imports into Europe: “The agreement reached with a leading company like Del Monte confirms the quality of the services that our terminal can provide, as one of the main hubs in the fresh food sector which has many interesting prospects for development,” Paolo Cornetto, the managing director of APM Terminals, commented. Stefano Polidori, Sales Director for Del Monte Italia, also spoke of possible new opportunities for Vado: “We are convinced that cooperation with the Reefer Terminal will strengthen our position in Northern Italy and open the possibility of new collaborations in the area”.
Vado’s Reefer Terminal has space available for the storage of containers, and refrigerated ones in particular, with an annual capacity of 250,000 TEU and 24,000 sqm of refrigerated warehouses, making it the largest such facility in the Mediterranean. After a period of serious economic crisis during which the GF Group decided to sell the terminal, APM came on board, and is building a new structure right in front of the docks.