Our experience in other segments should allow for swift expansion into the fresh produce sector

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Jakob Van Poucke recently joined Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium. After several years at Luik Natie, the experienced logistics specialist has taken on a new challenge at this logistics service provider, focusing on expanding the perishable/agro division. “I had some great years at Luik Natie, but Sealogis gave me a wonderful opportunity to put its perishable segment on the map,” Jakob begins.

“Sealogis is originally a French freight forwarder, mainly active in market segments like chemicals, art, and project and general cargo. Perishable goods don’t yet have the same share as those, but it’s a ‘vertical’ they’re eager to expand. To achieve that, they wanted someone with operational and commercial knowledge and experience, and, thus, approached me last summer.”

Presence at key gateways
Sealogis is not yet well-known within the world of perishables. “My job is to increase brand recognition. The first step is to actively contact and visit customers. The Sealogis group’s database has plenty of clients who deal in perishables. For instance, we handled many containers of Israeli potatoes last year,” says Jakob.

“We must now engage those people and see if we can do more for them. Can we handle both exports and imports? Are there more product groups? Our many in-house specialists can provide tailor-made logistics services for import as well as export cargo, offering numerous possibilities.”

“We, obviously, also want to build new relationships. By investing in marketing towards the fresh produce sector and by being at, say, the upcoming Fruit Logistica, we want to show what we can offer. We have offices in all major European food gateways. That lets us act quickly, which is especially valuable in the perishable segment. We already have the know-how in many other services, and now for perishables, too,” Jakob explains.

Seasonal flows
Jakob looks at what fits within Sealogis’ portfolio. “You don’t want to overshoot yourself, so you always have to consider what your added value can be. What is the volume, and what do you get out of it? You can offer all services, but if you’re not profitable, it’s over. We must, thus, see to which flows we can add value. Seasonal traffic is something that’s a very interesting option for us.”

“We’ve worked a lot with potato importers from Israel, but next season, that seems more problematic due to the well-known geopolitical situation. Northern Europe will then turn more to Egypt. For goods going to and from Egypt, we can add value for many importers and exporters,” says Van Poucke.

Jakob wants to gradually expand the division within the Sealogis Group. “It’s currently ‘low-season’, but early potatoes will soon be on the radar. Then the West African mango season starts, where we’ll again look at partnering with new clients.”

“And from August/September to December, potato, carrot, and onion exports from Belgium and the Netherlands will become interesting again. We’re taking our next steps in perishables and want to show, along with our other commodities, that we can be a valuable logistics partner for many companies for these, too,” Jakob concludes.

Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium will be at the upcoming Fruit Logistica at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges stand, Hall 26, H-51.

For more information:
Jakob Van Poucke
Sealogis Freight Forwarding Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 347 02 149
jakob.vanpoucke@sealogis.com
www.sealogisfreightforwardingbelgium.com

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