Combating the stink bug threat: Our global facilities

From Zeebrugge in Belgium to our Mid-Atlantic Terminal in Baltimore, with stink bug season looming we worked during the summer to prepare new facilities for treating cargo. Our experts around the world explain the range of treatment options available for customers.

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The rapid spread of the stink bug (BMSB) in North America and Canada – the pest feeds on up to 200 varieties of plant – is an invasion authorities in Australia and New Zealand are determined won’t be repeated in Oceania. This means shippers of cargo must ensure products destined for the two nations are delivered stink-bug free.

Customers that don’t comply with the new regulations risk their products being turned away from port, delivered late – or not delivered at all. That’s why, with our partners, we’ve developed a range of global heat treatment and fumigation options to ensure products are delivered without contamination by stink bugs.

The stink bug season runs from the beginning of September to the end of April in New Zealand and the end of May in Australia.

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Heat treatment facilities in Zeebrugge.

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Fumigation facility in Baltimore.

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Fumigation facility in Baltimore.

Turning up the heat at Zeebrugge

Saba Berikishvili, BMSB coordinator, Zeebrugge, explains that with heat treatment facilities his team is capable of treating up to 540 passenger cars per day at the terminal. There’s also a fumigation tent run by a third party with the ability to treat up to 80 units of high and heavy and breakbulk cargo.

“We have enough capacity to cater for demand from customers at Zeebrugge for stink bug treatment services,” explains Berikishvili.

European terminals busy with bug threat

Zeebrugge isn’t the only European terminal to have dedicated facilities for dealing with stink bugs. Captain Henrik Meyer, VP port and cargo operations, explains that there are also stink bug treatment facilities at Bremerhaven, Germany, Le Havre, France, and Santander, Spain. All of these facilities are run by third parties under the watchful eye of WW Ocean.

At Bremerhaven – just like Zeebrugge – heat treatment is typically used to treat passenger cars, with fumigation the method of choice for larger breakbulk and high and heavy products. “We take every possible measure to prevent live bugs making it onto our vessels,” Meyer points out. “This even includes inspecting cargo that doesn’t need to be treated to avoid cross-contamination.”

Battling stink bugs in Baltimore

Over in the US, Wallenius Wilhelmsen is also always prepared for stink bug season. Third party-run stink bug treatment facilities at our Baltimore terminal include a 50ft by 100ft heat treatment building accommodating 30 vehicles per treatment on a three-hour cycle. It can treat up to 120 cars a day, with overtime also a possibility if demand is high.

Meanwhile, the terminal’s rolling equipment and breakbulk fumigation building measures 75ft by 350ft and has a 33ft high ceiling, so can accommodate the most oversized cargo.

Chinese treatment centres start up

Facilities for stink bug treatment have also been established in China. Cargo fumigation services are provided by third parties at terminals in Shanghai and Lianyungang and a heat treatment facility is also currently being tested at Shanghai. In total, fumigation facilities in China provide almost 30,000 square metres of treatment space for passenger cars, explains Paul Lam, VP, WW Solutions, China.

There’s no denying the scale of the stink bug threat, but Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s global facilities are prepared. “We’ve put effective measures in place to treat stink bugs in our markets around the world,” says Steve O’Malley, general manager, WW Solutions, at the Mid-Atlantic terminal in Baltimore. “As the BMSB regulations increase in scope, we will make them available for customers everywhere.”

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