Maersk Container Industry Delivers First Star Cool Reefer Containers from New Factory in Chile
World trade in perishable foods turns a page as Maersk Container Industry (MCI), an independent business unit in the Maersk Group conglomerate, has begun production of the first refrigerated containers and Star Cool refrigeration machines built in South America at its new MCI facility in San Antonio, Chile.
The first trial production of these ISO standard 40-foot reefer containers were successfully delivered during the third quarter of 2015 into the Maersk Line and CMA CGM operations. Shortly thereafter, both shipping lines placed new orders.
To further leverage this new value proposition, Maersk Line has secured a fixed monthly volume from the MCI facility allowing for increased agility and fast response time to the demand in the region.
“In this sweet spot of fruit exporters, we have placed the factory right where the demand is,” said Stig Hoffmeyer, Chief Executive Officer of MCI. “Offering the Star Cool Integrated reefers locally to shipping lines, farmers, fruit distributors and leasing companies, will have a financial benefit counted in thousands of dollars per reefer, and millions for the industry in total.”
Every year, more than 100,000 reefer containers are needed in Chile. Including Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, the demand amounts to 300,000 reefer containers, predicts Seabury, the international shipping and transportation analyst. For many years, China was the only country with reefer container production.
“MCI is a strategic supplier for Maersk Line,” said Søren Toft, chief operations officer of Maersk Line. “The production of the Star Cool reefer containers out of Chile means that we can immediately employ them instead of an empty relocation trip. It will help us create new business opportunities in the west coast of South America.”
For the local farmers, the close access to the Star Cool Integrated reefer technology opens up for broader market coverage and can become a catalyst for South American fresh produce exports, according to MCI. The Star Cool refrigeration machine is able to service cargo at refrigerated temperatures with the lowest energy consumption, and the add-on service of the Controlled Atmosphere system can also carry fresh fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, avocados, mango and asparagus, over extended distances.
“In the coming years, we will gradually ramp up production to 25,000 reefer containers per year giving full priority to safety and quality,” said Hoffmeyer. “Our new MCI factory is a strategic $200 million investment. The factory is designed for a potential future sale of 40,000 reefers by 2020, all under one roof.”
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