Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Air Freight May be the Loser as Technology Allows Switch to Container Shipping

New Reefer System Offers Longer Shelf Life for Fresh Produce
Shipping News Feature

US – WORLDWIDE – With an eye to enticing customers to make the switch from air freight to a more cost effective option utilising ocean borne cargo containers, Maersk Container Industry (MCI) believes vast new efficiencies in global fresh produce and fresh-cut flower shipping may now be possible. MCI is partnering with Massachusetts based technology company Primaira, with its extensive experience in enhancing food quality, in a bid to integrate Primaira’s Bluezone air cleaning system into MCI’s Star Cool Integrated refrigerated shipping containers.

The Star Cool system actively works at adjusting CO2 and oxygen levels in a controlled atmosphere reducing the amount of ambient temperature air which increases running costs when a continuous ventilation process is used. Soren Leth Johannsen, Chief Commercial Officer of MCI said:

“We are still working on the final design, but we are convinced that the Bluezone and Star Cool combination represents economic and environmental upsides so far unseen in container transportation. We are excited about the Bluezone and Star Cool product and its prospects. For example, just consider the economic and environmental upsides on potentially converting today’s airfreight of fresh-cut flowers into reefer containers.”

According to Primaira, extensive testing of its Bluezone technology has demonstrated its effectiveness in extending shelf life, reducing produce loss, and maintaining its quality. Bluezone works by removing ethylene, a natural plant hormone, and microbes from the atmosphere of refrigerated containers which will maintain the colour, texture and taste of the fruits and vegetables for longer periods of time. Phil Carbone, Managing Partner of Primaira commented:

“This partnership allows us to apply the Bluezone technology, tested to US military standards, into commercial shipping, achieving the highest levels fresh preservation in a cost effective, efficient and reliable configuration.”