Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ocean Container Shipping Line Lowers the Temperature but Raises the Rates on Reefer Freight

New Ultra Cold Services Designed to Attack the Air Cargo Market
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH KOREA – SPAIN – Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has started its first ‘Ultra-Freezer’ service from Busan, Korea to Barcelona, Spain, which will transport cargo at -60ºC, some way below the limit of regular reefer containers, which is normally set between -35ºC and -40ºC. With this new ultra-freezer service, HMM says that it can provide a premium shipping service on highly profitable items that have normally been moved as air freight, such as raw tuna and sea urchin, through its ocean cargo container services.

The extra attention however comes at a cost, whilst still below the airfreight threshold, such goods requiring a higher level of technical expertise and skilled personnel, in order to maintain the cryogenic conditions during shifting, loading, and discharging process, freight rates of ultra-freezer service are 4 to 8 times higher than regular reefer containers, as the company aims to attract customers normally opting for air cargo.

Whilst both Maersk and CMA CGM also currently provide an ultra-freezer service, HMM says that it is the only one to provide the service from Korea on routes between, Busan (Korea) – Barcelona (Spain) and Busan (Korea) – Shimizu (Japan), as well as Algeciras (Spain) – Yokohama (Japan). In a statement the company said:

“This ultra-freezer service will do much to advance HMM’s world-class technology in reefer container management. We will continue to provide various services to meet customer demands.”

Meanwhile, HMM confirms it has successfully completed its pilot operation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology on reefer containers which it undertook in August last year. With the IoT technology, cargo status (such as location, temperature, humidity, etc) will be checked and managed live on-time. Combining the Blockchain technology with the IoT technology will also expand the range of IT systems available in shipping industry.