Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  08 Feb 2010

FOOD & BEVERAGES: Cold Storage To Perfection


Recent Western Cape Business News

COMMERCIAL Cold Storage (CCS), with its head office situated on Duncan Road in Cape Town harbour, has been providing refrigerated storage for a wide range of perishable goods since way back in 1970.

Mostly, says regional general manager Francois Dowling, they deal with food, from fish, processed fish and bait for the fishing industry to poultry, meat (beef, mutton and pork), frozen fruit and vegetables, fruit concentrate for the making of juices and dairy products such as butter and ice cream. The company’s Cape Town facilities at Duncan Dock road, Port of Cape Town, Bofors Circle, Epping Industria and Vrystaat Road, Paarden Eiland, have a total capacity of over 43 000 pallet positions. These products are kept in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to -25 degrees C.

In addition, CCS can store up to 500 tons of Sashimi, which is kept at a temperature of -60 degrees C. At the other end of the scale, they handle chilled items such as margarine, cheese, vacuum packed meats, fruit and nuts, sauces, etc. stored in a temperature range of 0 degrees to + 4 degrees C. Other items which they have stored from time to time include blood plasma, potato seeds and chemicals for the paint industry.

Different products require different treatment, and we consult carefully with the client in each case what treatment their product requires,” Dowling says.

The company, which is an important division of the Oceana Group, has eight storage complexes strategically located at all the main industrial centres and harbours of South Africa and Namibia, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban (where they also handle citrus) and Walvis Bay.

Expansion is ongoing, and in addition to increasing the size of its facilities, extra innovations are continually being explored in a bid to expand the level of services offered. The company is currently busy with the implementation of an international best-of-breed 3PL warehouse management system to improve flexibility in handling, storing and recording of stock as well as communication with customers.

All Commercial Cold Storage’s facilities are bonded warehouses (which is crucial for exports to the EU and most other destinations), are ISO and HACCP certified and are registered with the PPECB, the government body which monitors the export of perishable products from South Africa.

The company’s quay-side facility ensures faster off-loading of fishing vessels, sorting and weighing of goods, and transfer into cold chambers. Modern computer-controlled cooling equipment is used and temperatures are continually monitored electronically and by staff with many years of experience in the industry. Features include easily accessible mobile racking, conveyors into and from the cold rooms, together with pallet inverters and load pushers, and there is a specialised fish processing area to cater for value added requirements.

Stock records are fully computerised, with complete customer confidentiality, and the facility is protected by its own 24-hour security system, including guards, electric fencing and CCTV surveillance.

At portside, there are docking facilities for six fishing vessels, with provision for off loading three of these simultaneously through hatches directly into temperature controlled airlocks. This ensures maximum temperature control, keeps fish away from the sun and also serves the interests of security.

Always looking to meet and anticipate the needs of their clients, CCS is now investigating what Dowling describes as “a wholesale picking function”, which assists clients to select specified quantities from their stock in storage for distribution to centres through the country, and the new computer system will enable CCS further in this regard.

Duncan Dock Stevedoring is another example of added value, providing clients with a professional one-stop service and ensuring greater efficiencies in discharging and loading cargo from vessels to and from the cold store.

By combining flexibility with an intelligent approach to cargo management, we provide a complete service tailored to the client’s specific needs, saving time, and streamlining our operations.”

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