Coca-Cola becomes the latest global mega brand to decide to switch from regular liner choices for crucial deliveries, instead opting to move just over 60,000 tonnes of material on three handysize bulk carriers to keep its production lines running across the world.
The decision to go for bulk carriers rather than containerships was revealed via Coca-Cola’s procurement director, Alan Smith, on LinkedIn on Friday.
“When you cant get container’s or space due to the current ocean freight crisis, then we had to think outside the box,” he wrote in an update on the social media platform.
We had to think outside the box
The material shifted in sacks is the equivalent of 2,800 teu. Smith revealed the bulker shift was the first of many planned over the coming months, the latest chapter in what Steve Ferreira, CEO of New York-based shipper advisory Ocean Audit, has described as “containergeddon” – this year’s extreme shortage of boxships and empty containers.
Coke’s logistics boss went on to reveal that the three bulk carriers – namely Empire Bulkers’ 34,399 dwt Aphrodite M, AM Nomikos’ 35,009 dwt Weco Lucilia C, and Zhejiang Shipping’s 35,130 dwt Zhe Hai 505 – will head to non-congested ports, adding: “[W]e are hoping for a smooth discharge but it is a big watch out when chartering as the D&D per day is mega.”
While the Coke material deliveries are in sacks in the holds of the three handy ships (see image below), many other shippers have decided to take creative means to get their goods to market in recent months. This has seen bulk carriers repurposed and strengthened to carry containers, and big name retailers such as Walmart, Ikea and Home Depot chartering their own containerships.