The Chill Chain Journey of Salmon
Seafood logistics at Kuehne + Nagel
The travel logbook of salmon could make for an interesting read. Starting in cold waters, their temperature-controlled logistics voyage to restaurants around the globe can span thousands of kilometres. We talked with two KN FreshChain specialists to find out how Kuehne + Nagel ensures maximum freshness of a delicious fish with a fascinating, strictly monitored chill chain journey.
Marc Rooms, Global Reefer Trainer, has quite an impressive travel log as his job takes him to Kuehne + Nagel offices around the world. The reefer specialist spent a large part of his career with carriers in the reefer business, until his aspirations shifted to teaching. “My previous jobs were more commercial, but in one of them I also supported the teams in expanding their reefer knowledge. So at some point I decided to take teacher trainings to prepare me for a career focused on educating others.” Since 2017, Marc has been sharing his expertise - often with a touch of humour - with colleagues and customers around the world.
It is this knowledge-sharing practice which, according to Marc, makes Kuehne + Nagel a reliable partner for seafood transportation. “The freshness and storage life of salmon and fish in general is determined by the temperature it is stored in. Our trained KN FreshChain professionals know this and can guide the customer. Most fish that is transported by sea logistics is frozen, and although the commonly agreed temperature for frozen goods is -18°C, fish is an outlier. It is better to go below -20°C. Essentially, the colder you go the longer the shelf life. Sushi grade salmon and tuna can even be shipped with superfreezers at –60°C. At that level virtually all bacteriological live stops so the fish remains as good as fresh.”
Talking on behalf of air logistics, Jon Bayliss – Head of Seafood Development Europe - adds that the majority of salmon transported by air is chilled rather than frozen. Here time is even more of the essence to maintain its freshness. According to him, our good relationships with carriers – in addition to our aforementioned expertise - also distinguish KN FreshChain’s offer. "I have been working with salmon in air logistics for over 20 years now, and I can tell you that the logistic of it is very complex. Our operational teams are trained to react promptly to any unexpected changes and can leverage our carrier networks to make sure that the fish reaches its destination fast.”
The UK-based salmon expert also highlights our own storage facilities, one of which he helped set up in 2007 when he joined Kuehne + Nagel. Jon: "I joined Kuehne + Nagel to start up the UK perishables business and the first thing we did was to start operating from a chilled warehouse so that we can maintain the chill chain for our customers for as long as possible. Being able to receive, screen and build aircraft pallets in a chilled environment at our own dedicated facilities really sets us apart. It gives us the capability to be fully in control and deliver high quality service and tailored solutions to our customers."
Over the years, the seafood business has grown immensely partly thanks to great customer loyalty and the convenient solutions that Kuehne + Nagel can offer. Jon: "We're very proud of our year-by-year growth and I am confident to say that we can handle even the most challenging shipments. One of the most satisfying things is to fill the hold of a passenger 777-ER flying from London Heathrow to New York with 11 air cargo containers of salmon, weighing 45 tonnes! So if you're looking for a dependable partner to ship your seafood, give us a call!"