Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has emphasised how its experience in transporting perishable cargo, combined with advanced reefer technology, is helping to move blueberries grown in South Africa to key export markets.
The group highlighted how South Africa had a record-breaking blueberry season in 2020, exporting higher blueberry volumes than ever before.
As the year progressed, more and more of the fruit was transported by sea due to Covid-related disruption, MSC noted.
"MSC quickly stepped in to help, bringing our first ever shipment of blueberries from South Africa to Europe in September," the group stated. "The fruit travelled safely from Cape Town to Rotterdam via our weekly ‘NWC to South Africa’ service. We also carried smaller volumes to the Middle East and Far East."
"Carrying blueberries over long distances requires the highest level of care. As a world leader in refrigerated (reefer) container shipping, MSC is able to offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to air freight."
Like many perishable foods, blueberries are delicate and must be transported under carefully managed conditions.
MSC’s reefer containers feature Controlled Atmosphere (CA) integrated technology such as XtendFresh and Star Cool to modify the atmosphere, slow down the ripening process and reduce the growth of spoilage micro-organisms such Botrytis cinerea – helping the fruit to maintain the same taste, texture and colour as when it was harvested.
The group's services include weekly departure from Cape Town, and fast transit times to main global markets including direct connections to London Gateway and Rotterdam.