Last October 2018, Antwerp Cold Stores finalized a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the Argentinian Agency for the Promotion of Investments and International Trade (AAICI). The AAICI and Mr. Ben Van Wolput, Managing Director of Antwerp Cold Stores, have been working hard on the project to improve the competitive conditions of Argentinian food companies by creating a storage and distribution center for dry, chilled and frozen products in the Port of Antwerp. The facilities of Antwerp Cold Stores will serve as the first logistic hub in Europe through which many Argentinian products (fruit preparations, peanuts, citrus, wines, meat, fish, confectionery,...) will find their way to the final customers in Europe.
Antwerp Cold Stores also has a strong focus on the import and handling of frozen fish and seafood from Asia. All shipments are monitored from producer/exporter until arrival in the Port of Antwerp. All preparatory work regarding veterinary documentation or physical inspections is immediately rendered. The request for review and the original paperwork are delivered to the federal food agency before arrival of the container(s) for quick processing. After the customs formalities, containers are discharged and the products are being stored at -21°C. In a later stage Antwerp Cold Stores brings the requested goods to the client’s premises based on the “FEFO” – principle.
Last December 2018, Mr. Ben Van Wolput attended 2 workshops in India (Mumbai & Cochin) where Indian seafood exporters were able to connect with Antwerp Cold Stores in order to work out procedures so that Indian seafood products can enter the EU more easily in the future. The Indian seafood exporters could benefit from having a substantial number of pallets already close to the market / their customers in order to reduce delivery times. “The biggest problem is that when the demand for seafood is high, the supermarkets need to have the shrimps in their stores not on the vessel or in the exporter’s factory. Antwerp Cold Stores has been facilitating this for several years now,” explains van Wolput.
Acting as the Managing Director of Antwerp Cold Stores, Ben Van Wolput has 24 years of experience in the logistics sector and is one of the founding members of the expertise-group ‘Fruit & Perishables’ of the Antwerp Port Promotion Platform (APPP).
Antwerp Cold Stores, a logistic cluster for companies in the food industry, is strategically located on the left bank in the Port of Antwerp, a stone’s throw away from the biggest container terminals in the port and right next to the BIP (Border Inspection Point) where all the sanitary inspections take place. By operating a site of 36.000m², including a temperature-controlled warehouse of approximately 16.000m², the company offers added value services to the increasing demand of the food industry. The warehouse has a capacity of 8.500 pallets for frozen food products and 7.500 pallets for chilled/ambient. All incoming and outgoing goods are scanned in connection with the “Warehouse Management System” in order to secure all operations.
The range of services offered by Antwerp Cold Stores provide solutions for the import of (perishable) food and agricultural products into Europe via the Port of Antwerp. This includes flexibility between solutions, for instance direct deliveries of (reefer) containers, deliveries via value-added-tax warehouse or bonded warehouse. The business model of Antwerp Cold Stores is truly commodity-focused and wants a maximum exchange of information with its partners in a constant effort to build the perishable food business of the future.