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The journey of the melons: An end-to-end story

Transporting melons from Guatemala to the US is not a trivial task. Here is how Sealand America makes life easier for Exportadora Atlantico S.A with an end-to-end solution.

It isn’t without challenges, when the Guatemalan company Exportadora Atlantico S.A every year exports more than 25,800 tons of melons to the US. But with an end-to-end cold chain solution provided by Sealand Americas, the task has certainly become easier.

The solution includes origin trucking, ocean carriage, customs clearance, destination trucking, and cold storage. It has provided the company with increased control of the melons – all the way to their customers at destination.

All of this have resulted in increased reliability, reduced waste, just as it has enabled Exportadora Atlantico S.A to better take advantage to changes in the demand and increase both their customer satisfaction and profitability.

Ultimately, all of this means that the end-consumer can purchase melons of higher quality in their local supermarkets.

The melon challenges
Prior to engaging with Maersk, the supply chain of Exportadora Atlantico S.A lacked service reliability, visibility, and control.

On the origin side, occasional rolling of cargo, various terminal issues, and even vehicular accidents resulted in deviations from transport plans and ability to meet their customer commitments.

At destination, complexities with customs clearances, agricultural inspections, equipment availability, cold storage capacity, and truck availability impeded the smooth flow of the fruit. Furthermore, coordination of different providers and processes for each different consignee made solving problems very challenging for the small administrative team.

The release of control for their hard-grown fruit early in the delivery chain resulted in eight types of unpredictable charges, and had a number of adverse effects on Exportadora Atlantico’s business. These included food waste, destruction cost, exposure to demurrage charges, chargebacks from retail customers, and diminished quality and consignment value of the melon’s they’d worked so hard to produce. These challenges are being significantly addressed and eased with the new solution.

Furthermore, our investments in cold storage assets will enable the next evolution in increasing fruit quality & reducing cost. We will provide other value-added services including provide quality control, packing/bagging and retail distribution on behalf of the customer.
Source: Maersk,Exportadora Atlantico S.A (https://www.maersk.com/news/articles/2022/08/23/the-journey-of-the-melons-an-end-to-end-story)

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