Fresh Del Monte has entered into a definitive agreement for the building of six container ships, to serve its ocean transportation lanes between Central American and South American, and US ports.
This ship building programme will initially replace the company's entire US east coast fleet of vessels, with the first ship delivery estimated in late 2019, and will eventually be expanded to call at other ports as all the new vessels come online.
“Del Monte was one of the first large-scale banana producers to receive the SCS Carbon Neutral Certification for our banana operations in Costa Rica," explained Dennis Christou, vice-president marketing at Del Monte. "These new ships are an extension of our sustainability commitment on the high seas.
“The six state of the art container vessels will not only increase our tonnage capacity and speed to market but will also significantly reduce air pollution and energy consumption," Christou added. "The new energy efficient vessels are also designed to meet the most stringent IMO (International Maritime Organization) Emission control regulations coming into effect in 2020.”
The six vessels have been designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute and will be built at the CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company shipyard in China.
Each vessel will have a capacity of 634 40ft High Cube containers. They are 192 meters in length overall with a breadth of 30 meters and design draft of 9.3 meters.