After several years of shutdown, it is now official: the fruit terminal at the Port of Sète is back in service. The fruit and vegetable transport and logistics specialist Primever and Occitanie region, owner of the Port of Sète, have announced their partnership to relaunch operations in the Mediterranean harbor, with a 6-year contract. Sea-Invest will take charge of port handling.

Primever took over management of the fruit terminal on June 15. On December 1, the first lychee ship from Madagascar, carrying 8,000 pallets, will arrive at the port of Sète / © Port of Sète

Primever adds another string to its bow
This is a "strategic" project for Primever, which will operate the temperature-controlled terminal. The new facility will enable the family-owned company to "offer a complete turnkey logistics solution, and thus kick-start its port logistics business". With this partnership, Primever aims to boost the Mediterranean fruit business. "We've come to manage both port and maritime logistics, as we now offer a different solution with multi-product management". As Samy Kchok, Primever's Managing Director for Europe & International, explains, this operation will enable the specialist to expand into a diversified maritime business. The two partners hope to develop regular shipping lines to deliver goods to France and neighboring European countries on an A/B basis, thanks to its extensive network of 52 branches.

Primever, SEA-invest, and Port of Sète joined forces at Fruit Attraction 2023

New 23,000 m² warehouse
Although attempts had already been made to revive the fruit and vegetable business at the Mediterranean port, the project never came to fruition "due to the lack of a shipping line", according to Olivier Carmès, Director of the Port of Sète. Today, the two partners can take advantage of infrastructures already in place: a new 23,000m² refrigerated warehouse (built by Orsero) and a rail connection close to the warehouse.

According to Samy Kchok, this project has been "very well received" by the regional economy, as it boosts the region's economic growth and reduces its environmental footprint. "Until now, the flow of goods headed for southern Europe was managed from the north via the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. From now on, they'll be managed by a strategically located Mediterranean port."

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