Maersk has completed its first successful shipment of mangoes from Nhava Sheva in Mumbai, to the UK.
Bombay Exports shipped 21 tonnes of Kesar and Badami mangoes in less than three weeks in Maersk reefers which featured remote container management and controlled atmosphere technology.
India produces almost half of the world’s mangoes, and Maersk said the success of the shipment opens new possibilities in shipping perishable goods which otherwise required faster, more expensive, air freight solutions.
Commenting on the 25-30 per cent increase in airfreight costs in April 2019 due to the stagnation of cargo flights, Steve Felder, managing director of Maersk South Asia, said: “With the difficulties in air freight in the current scenario, approximately 200 tonnes of air exports of fruits and other perishables are being impacted every week, leading to a huge loss of produce.
“Furthermore, strong demand for mangoes in European markets provided us with a chance to leverage our superior technology in preserving refrigerated cargo.
“Through this shipment, we were also able to strengthen our relationship with government bodies, including the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
“We believe that this successful project will further open doors for trade of more premium commodities.”
Maersk continues to develop technology for perishable goods. Earlier this year, AP Møller-Maersk became a shareholder of Traxens, an internet-of-things technology developer that has developed a device that can track the location of reefers, detect shocks, check temperature and humidity and generate alarms.
Traxens hopes to sell over 150,000 of the devices by mid-2020, with Maersk committing to order 50,000. Eventually, the devices will be able to allow customers to regulate internal temperature, reports IEEE Spectrum.
CMA CGM first invested in Traxens in 2012 and was later joined by MSC in 2016. With the new investment from Maersk, Traxens said it can now focus on strengthening its solution and drive interoperability based on non-proprietary technologies and open standards.
The development of Traxens as an open industry solution is expected to benefit the strategic ambition of digitising the container shipping industry, the company explained.