• Inland container stations


    Unlike bagged coffee in containers, bulk coffee in lined containers can be transported and stored outside for limited periods fairly safely (on condensation, see sections 05.02.02, 05.02.03, 05.02.05). Under ECC rules containers may therefore be weighed and sampled at inland stations provided they were on-carried within 14 calendar days of arrival at the seaport and were weighed and sampled within 7 calendar days of arriving at the inland station. (Whether or not carriers raise any extra charges for such extra time is between them and the receiver.) This permits large receivers to take delivery at inland terminals. They then call the containers forward just in time for direct discharge at the roasting plant.

    The objective of the just-in-time (JIT) supply line principle is to carry only the immediately necessary physical stocks, with planned arrivals to make up for drawdown. Large trade houses have the capacity to supply JIT direct from their own stocks but cannot supply all a roaster's requirements, also because roasters do not want JIT to limit their purchasing options. The alternative is to buy from smaller exporters and origins 'basis named vessel' where the buyer dictates the shipping line and the vessel to be used.

    Receivers too are expected to take all reasonable measures to avoid condensation occurring, especially in winter. If the goods are not required for some time then they will be discharged in a port silo complex for call-up when required. Many ports now offer dedicated silo storage facilities or 'silo parks', which receive and store bulk. Services include blending and cleaning/sorting on demand. Deliveries to roasting plants are then made in bulk trucks that discharge by tilting, or in bulk bags. Some bulk trucks are compartmentalized and can hold different qualities, which are discharged separately by a conveyor belt that runs below the compartments.

    Coffee in bags now increasingly goes to a silo installation for transformation into bulk, obviously at a cost.

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