Continuation and the second a part of our collection concerning the lychee countryside of Madagascar, within the port metropolis of Tamatave which lives its final days in a really brief season, lower than 15 days, however actually intense.
On the subject of tonnage, Madagascar shouldn’t be such a giant producer of lychee merchandise. China, for instance, produces 19 instances extra small pink fruits than the Huge Island. However, Madagascar has for many years monopolized its place because the main exporter of the southern hemisphere. The explanation? The nation is the one one that may provide the EU international locations, seasonal lychee shoppers, on the time of the tip of the yr.
Nonetheless, the sector for this tropical fruit continues to be very artisanal. The manufacturing is delivered by greater than 30,000 small producers, unfold over a 250 km lengthy strip north and south of Tamatave. So with a purpose to export about 15,000 tons of lychees internationally in lower than 15 days, the Huge Island advantages from a formidable weapon: skilled operators with a exact group and a extremely accessible workforce. An actual logistics pressure.
Within the hangar subsequent to the jetty, vehicles loaded with lychees stand in line to have the ability to drop off the dear merchandise on the foot of Reefer. A cargo ship with refrigerated cargo holds to move very giant volumes.
The dealing with of the loading of the boat has been entrusted for 20 years to Benoit Leverrier, a Frenchman despatched by European importers. By his aspect, by the harbor, 40 persons are busy day and night time on this race towards time.
“Resulting from the truth that this can be a marketing campaign that solely lasts 8 days, it’s distinctive within the fruit sectors, whether or not it’s mango, banana, pineapple, the place there are annual productions which are exported weekly. Or month-to-month. On the subject of loading I’d say that we now have vital efficiency as a result of we are able to load as much as 3000 tons per day, which is all of the extra honorable as a result of we solely work two ships a yr, within the different ports, with reference from the Ivory Coast, they work one boat every week. “So that they make between 50 and 55 boats a yr. Right here, on the primary day, yearly, we now have to place within the automation, the group, the reflexes. And effectivity.”
We’re Thursday the nineteenth of November. The maintain of the second and remaining boat to Zeebrugge, a serious European port in Belgium, will certainly shut … barely three days after the primary ship. A presentation
Yvon Régis, one of many nation’s thirty lychee exporters, can lastly breathe in his lychee station. One other container or two to fill for Dubai and the Caribbean this week, however heavy lifting is full.
“We purchase litchi, we produce pallets with litchi for eight, and there it’s intense. However we now have 400 folks working each night time. And when the whole lot is prepared, we not have to ship, we shut. And see you in a yr with the workers. ”
The deadlines are so brief that the complete logistics chain should be below management. Even the fee of producers, collectors and carriers has been optimized.
“For 5 years we now have had an actual change, we pay our producers by cellphone by way of Mvola (cellular operator). Earlier than we went to the financial institution, we took out the cash with all of the dangers that it entails, and after that we had safes in our workplaces and we paid in money and it took a very long time. After which we’re speaking about billions arriary! So it was very harmful. It’s nonetheless extra sensible and safer. ”
The one parameter that’s tough to manage and with dangerous penalties: rain. It prevents selecting, sulfur and loading within the boat. By itself, it’s the grain of sand that may jeopardize the season. And crammed or not, the primary of the 2 boats should depart to reach, not two however now 4 weeks earlier than the vacation.
The truth is, this yr, within the face of the uncertainty within the European market attributable to successive containments, importers have chosen to broaden the vary of gross sales and to supply lychees for December 6, Saint Nicolas.
A poker sport that, if it pays off, can provide new impetus to a sector that was constructed round a date, December 25, and that thanks its success to a singular logistics enterprise on the planet.