Culina launches multi-modal service

Heathrow, UK: Culina Logistics has launched Culina Fresh, a new door-to-door freight management service, incorporating road, rail, sea and air transport for fresh produce, horticulture and other perishable goods.

Culina has set up the service to meet demand from producers, importers and retailers for an integrated solution to manage the complete supply chain from source, whatever the country, to final delivery throughout the UK and Europe.

Culina Fresh Limited is headed by two highly experienced leaders from the fresh food logistics sector: managing director, Thomas van Mourik (currently chief executive of market-leading Culina Logistics) and operations director, Paul Steele, who has 25 years’ freight forwarding experience, the last 15 in the perishable sector.

The business will initially operate from two locations. Facilities at Heathrow Airport in the UK will provide offices and warehousing to co-ordinate air freighting operations. Valencia in Spain has been chosen for its proximity to the region where the company expects to manage significant volumes of fresh produce. The company will also work with carefully selected partners in North America, South America, Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Far East who will provide local support services.

“Producers and importers have been telling me that their existing supply chains are too disjointed and inefficient, and to date no-one has been prepared to take ownership and responsibility for door-to-door freight management,” says Steele. “We’ve identified an exciting gap in the market which we’ll be filling with a high quality service that will address those issues and offer a new benchmark solution for freight management of temperature- sensitive goods.”

The key components of the new Culina Fresh operation are air, sea and surface freight. From Heathrow the company will co-ordinate worldwide door-to-door temperature-controlled air transportation services for customers needing to move fresh produce, horticulture and other short shelf-life items in and out of the UK and Europe as quickly as possible. In addition to the core freight service the business will offer innovative packaging solutions and other value-added activities.

The sea freight operation offers customers a cost effective door-to-door, tracked service with full UK port coverage and services including customs brokerage. The surface freight operation will comprise a full set of road and rail services to provide a complete UK and Europe-wide temperature controlled network. As part of this service Culina Fresh will be implementing a carbon emissions reduction programme to support its customers’ sustainability objectives.

“We are very excited about this new venture which will give us a worldwide capability,” says¬† van Mourik. “It supports the aspirations of the Culina Group, which includes the UK market-leading food and drink logistics specialist Culina Logistics, to expand organically, by acquisition or by strategic alliances, and will enable us to offer even more cutting edge added value to new and existing customers. We are also in the final stages of setting up the UK logistics arm of Culina Fresh, further details will be forthcoming.”