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Just like in Europe, retail is up and food service is down in Latin America and South Africa.
Cold chain operators in South Africa continue to function with limited disruption. Most cold stores, especially in coastal areas, report space availability. Ports in South Africa are working below capacity due to workforce issues, slowing down the speed of unloading and loading activities. Vessels are on hold at berth which creates delays for sea freight, for instance on direct routes from South Africa to Antwerp or Rotterdam.
In Latin America, the perishable food supply chain throughout the region continues to be strong with food moving to retail outlets. Food service is down. Warehouses have reported to be full, while labour is a challenge. Food products are given priority over other non-essential products, so refrigerated transportation is running, but at a slow pace. Truck drivers face strict controls at borders for temperature test, sanitizing procedures, while reefers are carefully inspected to control the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, exports of fruits and flowers, especially to Europe – where consumers have shifted towards more local produce, have dropped by nearly 40%.
In Brazil specifically, cold chain logistics operators report good balance between capacity and movement of goods. Imports have slowed down but exports have increased – mainly to China, despite a shortage of reefer containers. Ports are working normally and refrigerated transporters have not reported issues.