Logistics
Grimsby FMA
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There are currently two cargo vessels supplying the Humber region with fresh fish from Iceland each week.  The transit usually takes 3-4 days depending upon weather, but these vessels are scheduled to dock at Immingham on Sunday and Monday; supplying the bulk of the fish supplies for both Grimsby and Hull markets over the weekend.  This timetable can be subject to frequent delays either due to late departure from Iceland or due to weather affecting sailing times.  Either way, early notification of delays will allow buyers to change their buying pattern accordingly.  Both shipping companies attempt to inform clients on delays on their homepages; and the UK agent and the auction markets try to do the same, but delays are often not known for certain until Saturday or Sunday, when it is already too late for processors to react.

 

Once docked, fish is unloaded as fast as possible and the first containers will be delivered to the markets for the first auction of the week.  However, as results of both container ships docking over the weekend, some containers are held back at the docks to supply markets later in the week.  This necessary practice has of course negative effect on the quality of the supplies, for each day the fish is held back the quality will deteriorate.  It is therefore important to know the age of the raw material inside the containers, so that the oldest catch can be sold first.

Again, receiving forward information of the container vessel's schedule is of the upmost importance to merchants who towards the end of the week will be making decisions on where to source fish for the following week.  These decisions will be directly influenced by the knowledge of expected Icelandic supply.  Being unaware of supplies often forces merchants to source fish outside the markets by direct sale, just to be sure of having enough material for processing.

Obligations of the shipping company:

  • Notify of delays
  • Documentation and labelling of containers and their content
  • Plug in and monitor reefers (documentation)
  • Avoid that containers carrying fresh fish are left in direct sunlight
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