VENTURES: CFC Grows In Leaps And Bounds
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SINCE setting up shop in November 2004 Cape Fruit Coolers, the specialist cold store operator based in Killarney, Cape Town, has grown its activities with leaps and bounds.
Managing director of CFC Steve Oosthuizen tells Cape Business News the facility handled 50 000 tons of product in 2005. Last year the company handled 120 000 tons, that is, at full capacity.
When established in 2004 at an investment of R30 million, CFC strutted as the very latest in the cold chain technology, on par with the best in the world, according to Oosthuizen.
The venture, by the Du Toit Group, Maersk, Goede Hoop Fruit and Ceres Cold Storage, was especially designed and built to ensure efficient handling, cooling and shipping of perishable products destined for overseas markets.
To further improve efficiency of the operation, CFC recently installed an additional Regular Atmosphere Cold Room at a cost of R5.5 million. Importantly, it also invested some R1 million in its own power generation facilities.
Based in Killarney the facility is situated within close proximity to the port and is adjacent to the SATI container depot, with easy access via the N7 national road.
“Consolidating cargo close to the port allows for flexible and delayed distribution decisions, it improves preservation of cold chain integrity and lowers container cartage costs”, says Oosthuizen.
With 3 000 pallet positions (rapid cooling tunnels can accommodate 600 pallets), CFC ensures excellent cold chain preservation due to the fact that all pallet movement is undertaken in refrigerated areas to ensure quality and to prolong shelf life.
With the keen uptake in demand for the company’s services, it is now considering expanding the facility to have 5 000 pallet positions, which could require additional investment of some R30 million, according to Oosthuizen.
Apart from the improved preservation of cold chain integrity, 24/7 operating hours and high service levels, lower container cartage cost and competitive rates (CFC is continuing to lower operating costs per ton handled, aided to a large extent by the increased turnover), its competitive rates are also benefitting producers.
“We cater for any temperature regime required, from minus 0.5 degrees Celsius for deciduous products to plus 8 degrees for, say, sub-tropical’s”, Oosthuizen says.
An important contributing factor for CFC’s growing market share is its technology advanced information stock control system, which allows customers 24 hours access to information so that they can optimize their shipping and selling opportunities.
“We have a professional and experienced team of people who is committed and dedicated to exceed any expectations. We also believe in personalized services and long term relationships with our clients and service providers”, Oosthuizen says.
The recipe seems to be working exceedingly well for CFC.
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