The largest ever load of citrus carried by a reefer ship arrived at Sheerness Docks on board NYK Lauritzen’s flagship vessel, Yorgen Lauritzen, last week.
Nearly eight thousand pallets and of oranges and grapefruit from South Africa arrived at the Docks last Thursday. Yorgen’s underdeck stored approximately 7,000 pallets alone - the equivalent of over eight kilometres of fruit when placed side-by-side.
Over 1,600 pallets and 46 containers were unloaded for UK distribution before the ship made its way to Rotterdam with the remainder of the consignment.
While a traditional method of transporting produce, the reefer ship industry has seen some of its market share cannibalised by containerships in recent years. However, Mukul Ghildiyal, vice president of cargo care and port services for NYK Lauritzen told FPJ that the record shipment showed the industry was still strong, and that reefer ships - which unlike containerships carry consignments comprised solely of fresh produce - were the best way to carry fruit. “We still carry significant amounts of product and there is still a clientele that require this dedicated service,” he said. “Everyone’s very focused; they know how the product has to be handled and stored, and everyone is aligned for that.