More than 250,000 tonnes of coffee beans are stored in the port of Antwerp at any one time, making Antwerp by far the largest storage site for coffee in the world.
“We never say no,” says coffee ambassador Yvan Rombouts, president of the Belgian Coffee Federation, explaining the port’s leading role in storage, handling and distribution of the aromatic bean.
A wonderful aroma of coffee beans hangs over the Molenbergnatie warehouses in the port of Antwerp. Everywhere you look there are big bags, bins and neatly stacked sacks of raw coffee. At any given moment Molenbergnatie has some 45,000 tonnes in stock. Each year 85,000 tonnes of coffee passes through here on its way from the growing countries.
“Belgium has the ideal climate for storing coffee, and of course all our warehouses are designed to keep the coffee under the best possible conditions,” says commercial manager Matthias De Smedt.
A high-quality total solution for storage, handling and distribution
Each batch of coffee arriving in the port is subject to strict quality control, as part of a full logistics service package offered to customers by stock controllers.
This total solution is typical of the port of Antwerp: “The port can do everything,” says Yvan Rombouts of the Belgian Coffee Federation.
Largest storage site in the world, with superior connectivity
The port of Antwerp owes its position as the world’s leading coffee storage site to its accreditation by not one but two commodity markets – LIFFE in London and ICE in New York – together with its superior connectivity.
World players such as Molenbergnatie, Pacorini, Vollers, Katoen Natie, CWT, C. Steinweg and Durme-Natie together offer more than 1 million square metres of storage facilities. “The warehouses are located close to the quayside.
Furthermore all the sites have direct rail access, with up to 15 rail cars per week leaving for Switzerland alone. And of course there is also barge and truck transport,” says Matthias De Smedt of Molenbergnatie.