The Southern African Fruit Terminals Group of Companies (SAFT) has officially launched its brandnew state of the art cold storage facility in Killarney Gardens, which is situated adjacent to the SATI Container Services. CBN joined Ockert Henning, SAFT’s Managing Director for a sneak preview and grand tour of the new premises.
SAFT is part of the Belgian-owned SEA-invest Group, one of the largest terminal operators for dry bulk, fruit and liquid bulk with extensive experience in stevedoring, logistics and value-added services across Belgium, France, Germany and Africa.
The Group launched its first SAFT cold-storage facility in Cape Town in 1999 and has grown to include Cold Harvest in Paarl, Cold Harvest Bayhead in the Port of Durban, Container Fruit Terminal (CFT) in the Port of Cape Town and now SAFT Killarney. The SAFT Killarney facility is an impressive 11,300m2 and is situated on a 2.3 hectare property. It comprises of rapid cooling tunnels, sterilisation cooling tunnels, storage chambers with racking, pre-stage cooling chambers for loading, an airlock with 13 loading bays and a special inspection area for the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) officials. The location was strategically selected for its easy accessibility for trucks driving from the Northern Cape, Bergriver, Trawal and Citrusdal areas. It is near the N1 and the N7 which mitigates the challenges associated with intercity traffic.
It is also located right next to SATI, the Maersk container depot, which reduces the transport time of containers significantly. The positioning of the facility will contribute to making the logistic value chain more cost effective for SAFT’s clients. The main focus of SAFT Killarney is to offer cooling and storage services for various produce such as grapes, stonefruit, citrus fruits, apples, pears and vegetables. “The design of the cold storage facility was constructed in accordance with the latest industry trends with a view to increasing operational efficiency. It is also equipped with world-class refrigeration units, controls, a temperature monitoring system and a back-up generator, as well as biometric access to the property,” says Henning.
The facility has a dual focus of being a cooling and storage facility as well as offering produce sterilisation services. All of SAFT’s cold store facilities must adhere to specific protocols when it comes to the cooling of fruit that is intended for export. PPECB and DAFF plays a pivotal role in ensuring that fruit temperatures and the quality of the fruit are according to set protocols. The special inspection area was designed in collaboration with DAFF and comprises of state of the art equipment and office space for DAFF officials. “DAFF and PPECB are our business partners and share our objective of ensuring compliance to standards and protocols, and enabling operational quality of the highest level”, says Henning.
Construction in accordance with the latest industry trends is also supported with compliance to the highest level of health and safety protocols. These include, amongst others, an array of health and safety equipment, safety lights, surveillance cameras, fire control sprinkler system and water tanks for fire equipment. “Our business rests on our people. We have an excellent team with extensive industry experience, who are committed to delivering work of the highest calibre. At SAFT we are devoted to customer service and quality. Our people make it happen,” says Henning.
It is always satisfying to see a company flourishing, and with growth and investment in the region like we have seen at the SAFT Killarney facility, CBN wishes SAFT the very best with its new endeavours.
By Jenni McCann