Seatrade on ship

Seatrade, the world's largest specialised reefer carrier, has announced that it has selected Maersk Container Industry (MCI) as the main supplier for its expanding reefer container fleet.

The 4,000 new Star Cool Integrated reefers will be equipped with the latest technology to protect perishable cargo during long-distance transportation and keep energy consumption at a minimum.

According to the group, the order of 4,000 new Star Cool Integrated reefers from Maersk Container Industry (MCI) will reinforce Seatrade’s perishable and sensitive cargo logistics, where durable and cutting-edge reefer technology is playing a vital role.

Looking to source the best-performing reefer, Seatrade live-tested every relevant refrigeration unit option before deciding on Star Cool Integrated. Closely monitored shipments were carried out with chilled banana loads from Ecuador to Germany, during which energy consumption and cargo condition were measured. Seatrade revealed that the results confirmed Star Cool’s higher performance, lower operating costs and CO2 emission levels.

“It is essential that our reefer container equipment supports our 'Fast, Direct and Dedicated' concept,' said Yntze Buitenwerf, president and chairman of Seatrade. 'Besides timely delivery, our customers need the longest possible shelf life for their produce.

'The vast majority of our cargo is perishable fruit and vegetables requiring chilled mode transportation with narrow variations in temperature and monitoring of food preservation,' he added. 'In addition, energy efficiency, whole life costs and long-term operational value are critical to our operations. To ensure these parameters are met, we carried out extensive field test trials and carefully analysed performance.”

All new reefer containers from MCI will be the Star Cool Integrated version equipped with the Automatic Ventilation (AV+) system.

A large number of units will also be installed with the Controlled Atmosphere (CA) system, with the option of upgrading the remaining reefers if demand for longer transportations of certain types of perishable cargo increases.

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Seatrade to support their strong market position with reefer containers as a complement to their specialised reefer services,' said Stig Hoffmeyer, CEO, Maersk Container Industry. 'The results of their thorough testing confirmed that a reefer container is not a commodity. Innovation and cutting-edge technology is key to ensuring optimal cargo care and low energy consumption throughout the operational life of the reefer.'

Given the importance of the export of perishable cargos from South America, a proportion of the 4,000 units will be manufactured in MCI’s new factory in San Antonio, Chile, ready for the fruit season in the Southern Hemisphere. The remainder of the order will be fulfilled by MCI’s facility in Qingdao, China.

With a total value in excess of US$55m, the total Star Cool order is expected to be completed by December 2016.