Coca-Cola thinks “outside of the (container) box” to ensure product continues to flow.
US soft drink giant Coca-Cola has switched from regular containerships to shipping 60,000 tonnes of Coke ingredients in bulk carriers to avoid congestion to maintain production and cargo flow.
“When you can’t get containers or space due to the current ocean freight crisis, then we had to think outside the box,” said Coca-Cola procurement director Alan Smith.
IN an interview, Mr Smith said the bulker shift was the first of many planned over the coming months, the latest chapter in what Steve Ferreira, CEO of New York-based shipper advisory Ocean Audit, has described as “containergeddon” – this year’s extreme shortage of boxships and empty containers.
Coke’s logistics boss went on to say that the three Empire Bulkers, the 34,399-dwt Aphrodite M, the 35,009-dwt AM and the 35,009-dwt Nomikos Weco Lucilia as well as Zhejiang Shipping’s 35,130-dwt Zhe Hai 505, will target non-congested ports.
While the Coke deliveries are in sacks in the holds of the three handy ships, many other shippers have decided to employ similar means to get their goods to market.
This has resulted in bulk carriers repurposed and strengthened to carry containers, and big name retailers such as Walmart, Ikea and Home Depot chartering their own containerships.