NKG Kala Hamburg and Decotrade of Zug in Switzerland sign extensive partnership agreement

NKG Kala Hamburg has taken on full responsibility for raw coffee logistics on behalf of three Sara Lee roasting houses in Europe. Working closely together in the year 2008, the companies Decotrade, of Zug in Switzerland, and NKG Kala Hamburg worked out a plan for the optimization of warehousing operations for three Sara Lee roasting houses in northern and Eastern Europe. This involved a nine-month planning phase and the scheduling of numerous workshops. The concept has now to a large extent been realized in practice.

Generally speaking every roasting house for which Decotrade handles the purchasing of raw goods has its own warehousing system, puts together its mixtures for the market directly and then creates the specific end products.

In future, however, NKG Kala Hamburg will be coordinating the entire flow of raw goods for northern and eastern Europe, which in the past was managed from Antwerp. This will include responsibility for container and truck management, all warehousing operations, creating mixtures and components for the individual sites based on prescribed requirements, quality assurance and dealing with customs duties and tax. This means that in future between 60,000 and 80,000 tons of raw coffee will be handled by NKG Kala in Hamburg for Decotrade.

The basis of this new ‘hub concept’ is an IT-supported integrated merchandise management system for all those involved in the value creation chain. This ensures a high degree of transparency and flexibility, as well as rapidity of response.

The five-year cooperation agreement that the contracting parties have just signed in Hamburg underlines their commitment to a long-term strategic partnership.

Decotrade Managing Director Rudolf Schwab comments: ‘For Sara Lee, the Kala model is very much more than just a logistics concept. It opens up new and very interesting prospects right along the value creation chain, from the country of origin through to the roasting houses, and has triggered a fundamental change of view on the part of all the players involved in this chain.’

Günter Brockhaus, Managing Director of NKG Kala Hamburg, emphasizes the innovative character of the project: “This ‘hub model’, which has long been a subject of discussion in the coffee industry, has now become a reality. With this step both companies have confirmed their pioneering role in the raw coffee logistics sector. We are delighted that this makes NKG Kala Hamburg an important and integral element in Decotrade’s raw coffee logistics.”

In the world coffee trade the Port of Hamburg plays a major part – as the biggest European seaport for coffee imports, a hub for deliveries to Scandinavia and a ‘gateway’ for central and eastern Europe, Austria and Switzerland.

In the year 2008, 847,000 tons of coffee were imported via the Port of Hamburg. That represents an increase of some three percent on the year 2007. The Port of Hamburg also handles large quantities of coffee to be exported by sea. The port dispatched a total of 361,000 tons of coffee in 2008. The total amount of coffee handled at the Port of Hamburg in 2008 came to something like 1.21 million tons.

The attractiveness of the Hanseatic metropolis for these multifarious coffee related activities results from the long symbiosis here between trade, transport and the port.

The combination of trading companies having innovative service strategies with port and warehousing firms that rely on the most up-to-date future-oriented service portfolio and smart logistics solutions will strengthen Hamburg’s leading position as a centre of the international coffee trade.