Bananas are a filling and healthy snack – and they taste great.
Ecuador, with its ideal tropical climate, is the world’s largest exporter of the flavourful yellow fruit, with many destined for Asia’s growing middle classes, and MSC is the largest shipper serving its banana industry.
Its services and flexibility have opened up opportunities for small and medium sized exporters, bringing their bananas to new markets, particularly in Asia.
“Thanks to containerization, Ecuador’s produce is reaching new destinations with MSC as the market leader. In a trade that’s competing against a closer supply of bananas such as Philippines, the ones from Ecuador are gaining more acceptance every year because of their high quality, in terms of flavour,” says Manuel Negrón, Commercial Manager MSC Ecuador.
“MSC is contributing to this growth since the first trial shipments, showing reliability and steadiness ever since.”
Dedicated, quality service
Historically Ecuador’s banana ports, Puerto Bolivar and Guayaquil, handled break bulk, meaning cartons were loaded under the decks of conventional vessels. Buyers needed to charter the vessel or join with a few others to fill it up together, which was a serious limitation on small and medium sized clients.
This started to change after the arrival of container vessels. Over the last decade, MSC has started a dedicated container service that sets a high standard to preserve the quality of bananas as they travel across the world, adding a call in Puerto Bolivar in 2017. The extensive network serves every relevant port in the world, many through a transshipment hub in Panama.
Now, consumers in Asia – particularly China – are buying more bananas from abroad than ever before as an increasingly health conscious middle-class help propel the fruit’s popularity.
Technology and automation
MSC uses controlled atmosphere technology which enables bananas to be transported over long distances without deterioration in their condition.
Other services such as automation, speeding up the release of documentation – including a new online service tool – and providing safer services with less waste, are also important to enable the efficient export of bananas. In 2017, MSC was certified as the best company in security to handle exports.
“When other companies might do blank sailings – even in the middle of the peak season – we continue delivering and honouring our commitments with our customers by using extra loaders and connecting with different services across the area,” says Manuel.
“We are very proud to have contributed to the growth of the industry and bringing bananas to customers in the best condition, wherever they are in the world.”
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