Photo: Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena, 2012.
Container Coffee Stuffing Station, Port of Cartagena
Mainly because of its geography, a tropical mountainous country,
Colombia with a production above 510,000 tons, was in 2010 the
world's fourth largest producer of coffee behind Brazil (2.9 M
tons), Indonesia (1.1 M tons) and Vietnam (0.8 M tons).
About 95% of the coffee exported on global markets is carried in
containers. This requires a thoroughly cleaned 20 foot container
that has been fitted with a liner bag, which is often considered as
disposable. Coffee bags of about 60 kg can also directly loaded into
containers, but this implies a lower packing density.
The above photo depicts a container coffee stuffing station where
coffee bags are brought on pallets and manually emptied on a
conveyor belt, which loads the coffee sideway into the container
liner bag. Although this process implies additional transloading
costs, these are compensated by higher packing density. On terminal
stuffing also offers the benefit of higher security, limiting the
risk of illicit uses of the container.