Hapag-Lloyd boosts operations in coffee market

Hapag-Lloyd last week hosted a panel discussion with coffee experts as part of a move to increase its activities within this industry.

The event, on the theme of ‘Prospects and Innovations in the International Coffee Market’ was intended to bring together traders, producers and trend researchers, with representatives of Hapag-Lloyd, to consider the most recent developments in the coffee market and the associated challenges for coffee traders and transporters.

Hapag-Lloyd is currently intensifying its coffee-related operations, building on its existing position as one of the most experienced and largest liner shipping companies active in this market.

Coffee is one of the most widely traded goods in the world. Each year, roughly nine million tonnes are harvested globally and then exported across the world. About one in every hundred containers on board of Hapag-Lloyd vessels is filled with whole or ground coffee beans – and this figure is steadily rising.

Thorsten Haeser, Chief Commercial Officer of Hapag-Lloyd AG, said: “Coffee is an extremely sensitive natural product. The crucial factor for our customers worldwide is having a transport that is smooth, professional and tailored to the desires of each individual customer.”

Hapag-Lloyd has ramped up its transport activities and boosted its capacities in the most important export regions of South America and Asia. Now the company is also strengthening its activities in the fields of Sales and Customer Service. In Hapag-Lloyd offices with increasing volumes of coffee transports, ‘Customer Service Coffee Desks’ have been set up and staffed by employees who can quickly satisfy the special and individual requirements of coffee customers.

For example, export customers in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee export market, are provided with advice and support at a dedicated ‘Export Coffee Desk’ specifically set up for them. A corresponding ‘Import Coffee Desk’ has been set up in Hamburg, the largest coffee-importing centre in Europe.

The rollout of the steel-floor containers introduced by Hapag-Lloyd is also benefiting its coffee customers worldwide: Using these containers allows coffee to be transported odourless and provide enhanced protection against moisture.

“The global coffee market is growing, especially in Asia,” explained Haeser. “For example, we are seeing rising demand for coffee in countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Hapag-Lloyd is working intensely on additional sales measures to be able to serve its coffee customers even more flexibly and professionally.”