The port community of Bilbao brings Atlantic Europe closer to the fruit and vegetable sector of south-eastern Spain

Bilbao | May 26th
A large number of shipping lines link the port of Bilbao with Atlantic Europe and, in particular, with the United Kingdom and Ireland, thanks to its reefer connections, services adapted to the needs of shippers and transporters and agility in operations. These competitive advantages are some of the many that the port community of Bilbao has conveyed to the fruit and vegetable sector through UniportBilbao, aimed especially at shippers and exporters from Murcia, Almeria, Valencia, Alicante and Albacete.
In the webinar held this Thursday, the president of UniportBilbao, Jaber Bringas, highlighted that the port of Bilbao has "companies with a long experience both for the products for which they offer services and for working in these geographical areas which, although they may seem far from Bilbao, are close when analysing the multimodal solutions they offer".
In the presentations, the Head of Commercial Development/Marketing of the Port Authority, Amaia Sarasola, pointed out that Bilbao is a multi-purpose port connected to more than 900 ports in the world, with particular strength in European markets. Sarasola stated that the Brexit experience has served "to increase container and ro-ro shipping as a sustainable alternative. Through multimodal services, we are able to bring the port closer to the fruit and vegetable companies, particularly in northern Europe".
The Commercial Director for Spain and Portugal of Brittany Ferries Bilbao, Fabrice Turquet, has detailed the wide range of weekly departures they offer from the continent with the United Kingdom and Ireland for road traffic with or without driver, detailing the departures from Bilbao to Portsmouth on Tuesdays and Saturdays, departures to Poole on Mondays and Thursdays, and departures to Rooslare on Sundays and Thursdays.  Fabrice Turquet also pointed out that other advantages they offer are "competitive prices; savings on fuel, tolls and vehicle wear and tear; rest for the drivers during the crossing; admission of accompanied goods and even until shortly before the departure of the ship".
For his part, CMA CGM's Executive Sales of Containerships, Xabier Gutiérrez, focused on the weekly container services they offer with the United Kingdom and Ireland, with destination to the English ports of Liverpool (Tuesday and Sunday), Greenock (Friday) and Bristol (Monday), and Dublin in Ireland (Friday). "We service 45-foot reefer containers, which allows us to maximise cargo capacity and transit time is reduced to between three and five days depending on the ports, with a very competitive door-to-door service. In addition, we also offer containerised service on Brittany ships, thus increasing the number of available departures," he said. CMA CGM has, on the other hand, a weekly train for goods in reefer containers between Murcia and the port of Bilbao and, for those who prefer to ship by trailer to the port, it has a warehouse (Progeco Bilbao) where cross-docking is carried out at a controlled temperature.
The DSL Commercial Department of Suardíaz Logistics Ibérica, Leire Cortázar, highlighted its more than 40 years of experience in door-to-door multimodal services (maritime, road, rail) in trade with the United Kingdom and Ireland, which it complements with customs clearance services, among others. "We carry out import and export declarations, transits and shipments, as well as border inspection services and we have customs warehouses", coordinating all operations, including cross-docking in temperature-controlled warehouses. He also detailed the rotation of the three maritime services that link Bilbao with Liverpool and Greenock; Bilbao with Liverpool and Bristol and Bilbao with Dublin.
Finally, the director of UniportBilbao, Inmaculada Ugarteche, summarised the competitive advantages of the maritime multimodal services offered by the companies in the port of Bilbao, and added those which may be of interest to non-EU trade. "We have - he said - four specialised terminals, which operate as temporary storage warehouses (ADT), where imported goods can stay for 90 days without leaving the port. In the case of the Brittany Ferries terminal, the customs presentation must be made within 72 hours of arrival". She also highlighted the speed with which the administrative procedures are carried out in Bilbao if the documentation has been presented beforehand and is correct: "The paperless release system allows customs clearance to be obtained in three minutes and in the event that an inspection is required, it is carried out on the same day". Likewise, with transport companies and hauliers in mind, the director of Uniport pointed out that, "the Port of Bilbao has a specific area for the parking of lorries under surveillance with refrigerated connections and a mechanical workshop".
In short, a day representative of the public-private collaboration aimed at offering a varied and efficient range of services, which has left a very good impression thanks to the interest shown by the fruit and vegetable community and the excellent speakers, who have made the most of the best that the port of Bilbao has to offer.

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