Coffee goes back to future: Beats boxes with bags, breakbulk
INDONESIAN coffee trading firm Olam International, after finding containers hard to get in the Covid crisis, has returned to bags and breakbulk shipping, reports Bloomberg.
“If you speak to some of the older traders, it was the late ’80s, or perhaps the early 90s, when they last did this, so it’s a new frontier,” said Olam International vice president Manish Dhawan, whose firm chartered the break bulk ship Eagle.
“At the point when we were seeing shipments getting delayed, customers really struggling to get their supplies in time and getting access to coffee, that’s when we started to look at it,”
In the coffee trading world, a ship steaming across the Atlantic Ocean is garnering a lot of attention.
The Eagle has wound its way from Lampung in Sumatra, through the Mediterranean and is now headed for New Orleans. Transporting robusta coffee bags stacked in its hold to the US.
The ship is part of a burgeoning experiment in the industry where producers, roasters and traders are looking to leapfrog a global container shortage that’s causing an unprecedented backlog of shipments.
Mr Olam expects roasters to start utilising old-school shipping without containers more in the future. In a separate shipment on the Eagle, arabica coffee from Brazil was recently unloaded in Bremen.