Deep Catch Group, the Namibian company, which is engaged in wholesale, distribution, and cold storage of perishable foods in Namibia and the Southern African Development Community Region, plans to open a frozen food facility in Zambia.
Jared-Dwight Geyser, founder and managing director of Deep Catch said the Zambian cold storage market is set to undergo a significant transformation with the opening of a new 5 500-pallet frozen food facility in September, Freight News reported.
Deep Catch, which is a trading and logistics company has identified a gap in the market as there is currently no commercial cold storage facility for the whole of Zambia, despite the country’s growing agri-business and strong local production of dairy, poultry, beef, pork, aquaculture, and frozen potato products.
Geyser sees the increasing appetite for frozen protein in the region, as well as the solid demand for Namibian Horse Mackerel, as justification for the new facility, which is located at York Commercial Park on Kafue Road, about six kilometres outside the Zambian capital of Lusaka.
The facility’s proximity to the Copperbelt border of Kasumbalesa into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) means it is well placed to meet demand in the region.
During the peak of the Namibian fishing season, cold storage facilities in Walvis Bay are often at capacity, putting pressure on reefer transport to Zambia and the DRC. With limited space up north, smaller distributors who can’t take a full truck of fish, face serious storage issues.
This often forces local Zambian producers to drop prices and move products as fast as possible because of a lack of cold-chain capacity.
With the new facility, they could manage their markets better, Geyser said. He believes that Zambia’s agricultural sector is on the up and up, with improving options for cross-border markets in the DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia itself.
With the facility’s proximity to these markets in Lusaka, traders would find it easier to meet demand, Geyser said.
He notes that a regional market can reach its full potential only when the smallest denominator, like bicycle vendors on the Zambian-DRC border, who help to get frozen food to informal settlements, is catered for through proper cold-chain facilitation.
Deep Catch Group CEO, Lewton Geyser, says Lusaka Commercial Cold Storage is the fourth such facility in the group’s warehousing portfolio.
Deep Catch already has well-established frozen food warehousing in Cape Town, Walvis Bay, and Windhoek.
The Deep Catch Namibia Holdings consists of a trading division with branches in Cape Town, Windhoek, and Walvis, and a food service and retail distribution division operating in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
In addition, it has a freight forwarding division based in Walvis Bay, Camel Thorn Freight Forwarding. The group was recently acquired by Imperial Logistics, a DP World company, and alongside its subsidiaries renders an end-to-end frozen food solution through Namibia into the sub-Saharan region.