Before The Arrival of the Vessel
The discharge is prepared a long time before the vessel arrives. Therefore it is important that the exporters send on time a detailed shipping list by email. The data from the shipping list are automatically copied into the electronic logistic system at Fruit Wharf.
The computer shows at anytime an up-dated list of the incoming merchandise. What kind of fruit is expected, and when is it due to arrive? How much fruit is in the warehouse, what is already sold and how much remains for sale?
Arrival and short time storage
The vessels are discharged at the Fruit Terminal Rotterdam.
Today most fruit items are transported by container.
Individual pallets are discharged with cranes.
The short transfer from the terminal to the Fruit Wharf warehouse (“Middenpier”) is done with special trucks that enable a rapid loading and unloading of the pallets.
Our logistic partner Fruit Wharf puts a sticker on each pallet. The sticker is scanned to make all important data regarding the merchandise available in the logistic system: brand, exporter, size, variety, etc.
All forklifts are equipped with a reading device to scan the stickers on the pallets. The forklift driver can see on the screen all necessary information about the merchandise and receives instructions from the logistic system as to where each pallet has to be taken.
The pallet positions in the warehouse aisles are identified with numbers. Each pallet has its own “address”, just like a house number: for example 14/25/0.
The warehouse has different temperature areas that allow the appropriate storage of all kinds of fruit. For example, apples and pears are stored at much lower temperatures than citrus fruits.
For quality control, the team of Global Fruit Point closely cooperates with the sworn experts of Harmsen & De Groot who prepare standardized quality reports for all incoming merchandise and, if necessary, also official survey reports in case of damages.
The standard procedure consists of checking two boxes from each pallet. If quality problems are found, the control is extended to the rest of the boxes.
The quality control follows exactly defined criteria:
The control begins with the pallets: Has any of the boxes been damaged during the sea transport? Apart from the use of strong carton material it is important that the container is loaded correctly: If too much space is left between the pallets or if the boxes are piled up too high, transport damages may be caused.
The merchandise must correspond exactly with the labelling norms of the European Union, and the content must be identical with the indications on the box. Also the weight per box and per bag/punnet is controlled.
The outer appearance of the fruit is evaluated: colour, possible skin damage, size, etc.
The firmness of the fruit is measured with a penetrometer. Granny Smith apples, for example, should resist a pressure of 7 kg upon arrival.
The sweetness of the fruit is measured with a refractometer and indicated in degrees Brix. This control is especially relevant for grapes, kiwifruits, apples, citrus and also mangoes.
Every week random samples are taken and sent to chemical laboratories where they are examined for possible pesticide residues. Global Fruit Point selects the samples according to the potential frequency of residues, for example, grapes are examined much more often than apples.
In case of quality problems, the category of the product is modified in the computer and all boxes are re-stickered accordingly. Similar corrections are required when, for example, the number of fruits or the weight per bag does not correspond with the information on the box.
When fruit arrives with decay, a quality report is sent by email to the exporter, together with photos of the fruit and a first estimate of the damage. If several farms are affected, separate quality reports are prepared. This also helps the exporters as it enables them to detect possible weaknesses and take the corresponding measures. The team of Global Fruit Point in Buxtehude makes every sales effort to minimize the damage.
If necessary, the fruits are re-packed directly in the port of Rotterdam or in specialized packing plants.
Over time the fruitful cooperation between worldwide producers/exporters and Global Fruit Point has led to considerable improvements in quality management.
Loading and Transport to the Customer
The customers’ requirements are becoming more and more demanding. The Rotterdam staff of Global Fruit Point knows exactly the wishes of the different customers and selects the merchandise according to their individual needs. For every transport order, Global Fruit Point Rotterdam gets written instructions for quality control. The fruit is loaded only after authorization by the quality specialists.
The truckers must show up at the Fruit Wharf office where they get a reference number that allows them to enter the fruit terminal.
On the parking site the trucks await their turn to enter the loading area. In contrast to other loading points, the trucks that take up fruit from Global Fruit Point only have to wait about 20 minutes on average.
The forklift driver takes the pallets to the truck.
Once the truck has been loaded it takes the most direct way to deliver the fruit to the customer.
Quality Assurance and Logistics
Quality assurance and logistics in the port of Rotterdam: The requirements of the food retail trade have constantly increased over the years. The team of Global Fruit Point in Rotterdam knows exactly the wishes of the individual customers and selects the fruit accordingly. Before loading, Global Fruit Point Rotterdam receives a written quality control order. The fruit will be dispatched only after having been released by our quality specialists.