Panalpina launches Sh500m JKIA Cold Storage Facility

Panalpina launches Sh500m JKIA Cold Storage Facility.

International forwarding & logistics services firm Panalpina has invested Sh500 million in a new cold storage facility for fresh produce – at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Panalpina global president Stefan Karlen said the new initiative will expand the cold storage facility from its current 3,500 square metres – to 5000 square metres. He further added that the new investment further portrays the firm’s confidence in the fresh fruits, vegetables and flower business in Kenya. Furthermore, the initiative will boost farmers’ added demand for savvy cold storage solutions, as well as enable buyers to directly transact with producers.

“We started off with five jobs in 2015, before raising it to 200 employees when we partnered with Airflo and after we bought out the 75% majority stake in 2016, we have since expanded our services and now employ 300 staff members,” Mr. Karlen further stated.

Launch of direct Nairobi-New York flights boosts trade

Kenya Airports Authority managing director, Jonny Andersen, welcomed the expansion – saying last month’s launch of direct Nairobi-New York flights provided horticultural and flower farmers with new opportunities to sell products directly to the American markets.

Currently, Kenya sells mainly textiles worth Sh36 billion directly to US retailers. However, the newly launched direct flights will also facilitate the direct sales of flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Mr. Karlen said Panalpina currently handles 65,000 tons of fresh produce, with the amount expected to increase to 80,000 tons – by 2020.

The listed Swiss firm currently handles a substantial amount of Kenya’s fresh produce that is exported to 26 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the United States.

(ASV) & Business Daily Africa.