As if we needed another excuse to celebrate the joys of chocolate, Sept. 13 was “International Chocolate Day,” which also just happens to be the birthday of American confectioner Milton S. Hershey, inventor of the iconic Hershey bar.
As silly as this invented holiday may be, DHL Global Forwarding seized the opportunity to commemorate more than 15 years of transporting finished chocolate products and raw cocoa ingredients by air and ocean.
Each year, the company said, the freight forwarding arm of Deutsche Post’s DHL Express ships more than 4,450 20-foot-equvalent units (TEUs) and 600 full truck loads of chocolate. It also delivers more that 7,000 pallet positions and processes an average of 460 customs files per month to make sure the world’s kisses, bars, truffles and other sweet confections arrive unbroken and unmelted.
“With a large number of shipments transported via the Europe-Americas trade lane and intra-Americas, DHL helps ship from the raw cocoa bean to the finished product, in addition to the machinery to make any chocolate treat,” said Jannie Davel, head of airfreight, DHL Global Forwarding, Americas. During the chocolate’s journey, logistics supplied by DHL maintains strict end-to-end temperature control, as well as warehousing, trucking and customs brokerage services, he said.
Chocolate is part of a rapidly growing consumer market in the Americas region. Citing a recent study from CBS News, DHL said chocolate sales in Latin America, alone, are expected grow by 31 percent over the next five years. In 2013, Ecuador overtook Brazil as Latin America’s top cocoa producer and will most likely become the fourth largest producer of cocoa beans in the world by the end of this year, according to Ecuador’s National Cocoa Exporters Association. Other cocoa-producing countries in the region include Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru.
So when you enjoy your sweet, brown indulgences this weekend, give thanks to the vast South America and Caribbean supply chains that made it possible.