Delivering Sweet Easter Surprises: The Growing Challenges of Cocoa Imports

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Delivering Sweet Easter Surprises: The Growing Challenges of Cocoa Imports

03/28/2024

When it comes to cocoa imports or exports, there is no time more important than the period before Easter. Chocolatiers from around the world eagerly anticipate the three-day period where chocolate and easter eggs are in high demand.

Businesses involved in the cocoa and confectionary industries have their work cut out for them in the run-up to the Easter weekend. Not only does the production of Easter eggs require considerable planning due to the sharp rise and fall in demand, but their primary ingredient, cocoa is becoming an increasingly expensive commodity, with prices rising in recent years.

Because of this, even greater care must be taken to ensure that the Easter Bunny has enough chocolate eggs ready to deliver on Easter Sunday.

There is an added layer of complexity with Easter logistics, as after the mad rush of Easter weekend shipping, demand for Easter eggs naturally reduces very quickly. Having a well-planned supply chain for your cocoa imports and subsequent chocolate exports not only helps you avoid overstocking but also means you can adjust your levels of stock quickly depending on changes in customer demand.

As well as planning and forecasting well in advance, there are also certain technologies that can be employed to help you create inventory optimisation strategies. Ultimately, this enables you to become more reactive during periods of seasonal demand, helping you develop long term strategies for success.

There is also the opportunity for you to enhance your chocolate production through your cocoa supply chain by working with suppliers who comply with Fair Trade regulations. Not only does this help work towards more sustainable chocolate production, but as a business this level of transparency also enhances your reputation and encourages greater stakeholder investment.

Navigating the Sweet but Sticky World of Cocoa Logistics

Whether you’re shipping Easter eggs or cocoa beans, it’s crucial to ensure your logistics are well planned to avoid a sugary nightmare. Certain logistical elements that need to be considered include:

Time
Cocoa bean exports must be shipped shortly after being harvested to maximise their quality and avoid damage caused by humidity. Equally, chocolate generally needs to be shipped within three days to ensure it retains its optimum quality. Because of this, it’s vital to plan out your shipping schedule in advance and work with an experienced global shipping company who have the resources to ensure your chocolate cargo arrives at its final destination without delay.

Temperature
The temperature at which your cocoa and chocolate cargo is shipped is equally as important as the time taken during shipping. While cocoa exports are generally best shipped in dry cargo containers, as excess moisture can damage the cargo, Easter eggs and other types of chocolate are better shipped in refrigerated containers. This helps keep the chocolate at the correct temperature to maintain its delicious quality and prevents melting and subsequent disappointment!

Packaging
Similarly, the packaging of cocoa exports is highly important to preserve their quality. As cocoa beans absorb moisture from the air, and are extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations, minimising water levels in the air is crucial. It is also vital that cocoa exports are thoroughly dried before being exported, as they can also release water during transit, resulting in significant cargo loss.

When it comes to shipping Easter eggs, the packaging is also critical to maintain their unique shape and avoid damage. Chocolate in general is also known for acquiring the smell of other foods during refrigeration, so it’s important to ensure it’s packaged separately when being shipped to avoid any unfortunate odour absorption.

How Technology and Digital Solutions Help the Easter Bunny Stay on Track

Most cocoa bean exports take around 20 days to reach their final destination. The sensitivity of the cargo, combined with the importance of ensuring that your cocoa export arrives on time for Easter production means it’s important to monitor your cargo closely during transport.

One of the ways to gain better visibility of your cargo is through using Smart Containers whose technology enables you to track and monitor your cocoa bean shipment by transmitting real-time data about its position, temperature, and the last door opening.

Not only does this mean you can control the conditions that your cocoa cargo is being shipped in, helping to ensure quality and minimise waste, but also means you can react quickly to bottlenecks or disruption to your supply chain and respond accordingly. Ultimately, having great visibility enhances your ability to respond effectively to any challenges and ensure that you’re providing the best cocoa beans possible to enable the creation of the ultimate chocolate delights this Easter.

Did you know: Aside from Easter Eggs, Easter baskets, crafts, cards, and decorations are some of the most commonly shipped items during the Easter period.

Ask MSC

You can rely on MSC’s advanced technology, and experience in shipping cocoa bean cargo to ensure that your Easter shipping is as smooth as possible. Contact us today to explore our cocoa shipping solutions, or to speak to one of our local team members for advice on the best shipping solutions for your business.

 

For reliable shipping, global network coverage, fast transit times, and exceptional customer support discover our full range of services now.

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