Fish feed transport chain leads from Denmark to Turku

BioMar is a world leader in high performance diets for more than 45 different fish and shrimp species in more than 80 countries. Founded in 1962 by a group of Danish fish farmers, BioMar’s heritage is a long-term commitment to developing the aquaculture industry in a responsible and sustainable way. BioMar entered the Finnish market in 1995, and five years later the company expanded its operations considerably by acquiring the fish feed business of Suomen Rehu.

Traffic and logistics
Port of Turku is located at the centre of the markets

BioMar fish feeds start their journey to Finnish fish farms in Mid Jutland, Denmark. From a plant located in the small town of Brande, the 500 kg feed bags are carried by truck to the port city of Grenå on Kattegat, and shipped from there on Baltic Line vessels to Turku.

”Turku is natural choice for BioMar as a bridgehead on the Finnish market. Although our customer base extends all the way to Inari, most of Finnish aquaculture industry is located in the Archipelago Sea. In Turku we are close to those customers, so concentrating imports and warehousing in Turku ensures the service standard that meets our customers’ needs”, say Petteri Leskinen who is in charge of BioMar’s sales and logistics.

“A supply chain that pulls together ensures the availability of BioMar feeds”, Petteri Leskinen, Tomas Uschanow and Janne Salonen assure.
Almost 20 years of co-operation with Baltic Line

An important link in BioMar’s supply chain is Baltic Line which is the only shipping company that provides a sea connection from Denmark to Turku. As much as 600 tonnes of feed is shipped weekly across the Baltic Sea, with emphasis on spring and summer. The biggest feed shipments arrive in the Port of Turku around April when BioMar accumulates its basic stock. Continuous supply performance is maintained through supplementary shipments up to the start of the winter.

”Co-operation in transports between Baltic Line and BioMar commenced already in the year 2000. At that time, Baltic Line had only one ship and the rotation was two weeks. Charter ships were used every other week, until we began to operate on two vessels and the rotation shortened to one week. Regular weekly liner service enables fast volume changes for BioMar according to the customer needs, as BioMar can send the order to the plant in the same week as the ship departs from Denmark to Turku”, says Tomas Uschanow, Managing Director of Baltic Line.

Mr Uschanow thinks that the transport of seasonal products such as fish feed is well suited for the Baltic Line route on which the summer months are slightly quieter in other cargo categories. The geographical location of the Grenå port is also favourable in terms of BioMar’s transport from the plant to the port and particular in terms of Baltic Line’s scheduled traffic. “When sailing from Norway via Denmark to Turku, as short a deviation from the route as possible allows for fast shipping time”, Tomas Uschanow says.

Main responsibility for land logistics lies with Stevena

Port operator Stevena also has an important role in BioMar’s transport chain. Stevena is responsible for transferring the 500 kg fish feed bags from the quay to the warehouse in the West Harbour and for loading the orders going directly to the fish farmers.

”Turku Steve lifts the fish feed bags from the cargo hold to the quay where Stevena’s employee counts the bags and inspects their condition. Then Stevena’s operators transfer the big bags with wheel loaders to an indoor warehouse, grouped according to type. When BioMar places an order, Stevena compiles big bags on pallets and loads them on the trucks that pick up the order. Stevena has years of experience in the handling of big bags and feed, allowing us to take into account the challenges related to the handling and storage of bags, such as prevention of vermin and moisture”, says Janne Salonen, Sales Manager of Stevena.

Efficient cargo handling helps get the fish feed shipment quickly into warehouse, to shelter from the weather.
BioMar is satisfied with the speed of its transport chain

”Efficient logistics is BioMar’s superior strength alongside high-quality products. Thanks to the very fast supply chain we never need to turn customers down, but can deliver the products quickly and on schedule to the end users. Working together with Stevena, orders that come in in the morning can be sent out during the same day. This is also supported by the long service hours of our warehouse from 7 in the morning to 10 in the evening. That has turned out to be a good solution especially for customers in the archipelago that have to use ferries and mainly handle their feed transports by themselves. Through the electronic ordering system we can forward the customers’ orders to Stevena in real time using a mobile connection to ensure smooth deliveries”, Petteri Leskinen from BioMar says about the importance of the supply chain.

Text: Kari Ahonen
Photos: Markku Koivumäki