STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 5, Number 2

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 63 of 83

64 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 2, 2016 (April/May) Coffee Shippers Confront Myriad Challenges By Hans Niebergall S hipping touches every link of the coffee supply chain and global economics are wreaking havoc with shipping companies. Oil has never been cheaper nor ships more efficient, but global trade is diminishing amid a glut of container vessels and new port requirements that favor massive hubs. Hubs may quickly offload and load ships but the inter-modal facilities at these super harbors often result in de- lays. Last month STiR Tea & Coffee examined North America's West Coast ports and the rising shipping hubs in Asia. In this issue Hamburg SUD's Frank Leck, senior sales manager import central Europe, explains from his vantage the challenges facing green coffee shippers. Hamburg SUD is one of the world's most important coffee transportation firms. The company operates 127 container ships, employs more than 6,000, and owns 600,000 containers. The company circulated 4.2 million containers last year making it one of the top 10 container lines in the world. Green coffee is a specialty. Hamburg SUD services South America, Central Amer- ica, Colombia, and Asia with most of the coffee destined for Hamburg, one of the top coffee ports in the world. Speaking from his offices in the old port, Leck explains that "coffee or any other product is quite a challenge for any shipping line these days as the break-even point can hardly be reached." "There are too many container ships and not enough goods," he explains. "This is especially true from Asia to Europe and the United States due to the downturn in the Chinese economy," he said. Brazil's Bolsa de Cafe (auction house) The Port of Santos was constructed in 1822. Warehouses from that era still remain. Photos by Dan Bolton

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of STiR coffee and tea magazine - Volume 5, Number 2