The Port of Bilbao and Mercabilbao will be taking part in Fruit Logística Berlin from 5 to 7 April to attract new fruit and vegetable traffic. This event, designed to bridge the gap between supply and demand, is the main European meeting point for the sector. The representatives from Bizkaia will present the strengths of their respective organisations and the services they offer. “The objective is to expand the market and make operators aware of our position as a food hub in the north of Spain, which in turn enables us to be the gateway between South America and Europe”, a Port Authority of Bilbao representative explains.
A wide range of shipping and intermodal services, experience in perishable goods traffic and ample cold storage facilities all enable the port of Bilbao to channel fruit and vegetable traffic from places such as Central America, South America and South Africa, as well as from different parts of Spain, to Europe and other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Stand-out markets include the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In this respect, Bilbao is the leading port in Spanish maritime transport with these two nations.
One stand-out example of the fruit and vegetable import and export traffic-related services to be showcased by the port at the trade fair is e-puertobilbao, the online platform that the port of Bilbao has provided for its customers to speed up processes and operations.
In terms of infrastructure, the container terminal at the port of Bilbao, managed by CSP Iberian Bilbao Terminal, has the deepest draft and is the most important terminal in the north of Spain. Connected to the main ports of northern Europe, the terminal is equipped with 540 plug-in sockets for reefer containers and has automated access that speeds up and streamlines all operations, including those of fresh produce transporters, as well as a 550-metre, four-track rail terminal.
The port is also equipped with Ro-Ro and multi-purpose terminals and perishable goods warehouses. The cold terminal, Frioport, has 4,800 m² of surface area, two freezer chambers at -25 degrees totalling 16,300 m³ and three positive cold rooms with a capacity of 7,500 m³.
Progeco, for its part, has two facilities for the storage and transfer of goods, providing a total of 6,000 m² of positive cold storage. The company also handles storage, maintenance and repair of refrigerated containers, providing solutions 24/7 for all types of problems with both structural issues and refrigerated machinery for shipping companies and all types of customers in the sector, and thereby avoiding delays and breakages in the cold chain. Progeco is the sole dealer (official technical service) in the north of Spain for the main manufacturers (Carrier, Thermoking, Star Cool and Daikin).
Additionally, the Border Inspection Post (BIP) of the port of Bilbao is a benchmark among Spanish ports. This large-capacity facility, with 16 lorry loading bays, is operational 24 hours a day, and provides the following services: a Border Inspection Post (BIP), an unloading port, Designated Points of Entry (DPE), DPE/DPI (Designated Points of Import, points for the control of food products from certain third countries), radioactivity monitoring, Authorised Customs Areas (ACA) and FPI (First Points of Introduction).