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NFT proves it's ‘Top Banana’!

7 August 2018

NFT, the UK’s market leader in temperature-controlled logistics welcomes its largest fresh produce contract since the opening of its flagship facility at Tilbury.

Vessels containing over 700,000 bunches of bananas per week are arriving at the facility for major retailers. The contract includes 5,000 pallets of produce arriving weekly and comprises 50% bananas and 50% pineapples.  This contract is unique in that it is a four-way collaboration between a range of growers/ importers, Sea Trade (a leading specialised reefer operator), the Port of Tilbury and NFT.

The key objective for all parties was to enable fast and efficient importation of fresh produce, ensuring products get from the arriving vessel to retailer faster, thus increasing shelf life. For NFT, being located alongside where the ship docks enables the most efficient supply chain as the produce can be unloaded and redistributed to retailers within 24 to 48 hours.

It is also ground-breaking because it is a co-ordinated effort between a dozen companies including common growers in Costa Rica (providing the bananas). A very detailed logistics plan from all parties was drawn up and this contract has been 12 weeks in planning. The vessel started its voyage in Costa Rica and travelled 4,816 nautical miles direct from Puerto Limon to Tilbury river side in two weeks.

Chris Soanes, Commercial Director at NFT said: “This contract demonstrates we are able to impart our specialist expertise and work collaboratively with growers, and importers who we recognise as being experts in their field to create a highly responsive and efficient supply chain into UK retailers. We have successful established contracts with melon and citrus importers also and this new portfolio of produces only enhances are expertise in this area”.

Over 250 containers with similar volumes of bananas and pineapples will take part in this voyage every week until Christmas. With a single banana costing as low as 10p in a supermarket, this contract absolutely demonstrates that distribution costs are definitely lowered as a result of eliminating unnecessary food miles.

Photo from R to L: Ross Eggleton, NFT Group CEO; Charles Hammond, Forth Ports Chief Executive; Heath Zarin, NFT Chairman NFT & Founder of EmergeVest; Chris Soanes, NFT Commercial Director.

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