Seatrade, a Belgium-based specialized reefer operator, selected Maersk Container Industry (MCI), Denmark, 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.

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. The results confirmed Star Cool Integrated’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. 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,” says Yntze Buitenwerf, president and chairman, Seatrade. “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 analyzed performance.”

Optimal cargo care and low energy use

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) system, with the option of upgrading the remaining reefers if need be. Energy efficiency is further enhanced with MCI’s StarConomy software, which significantly reduces energy costs without compromising produce quality.

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Seatrade to support their strong market position with reefer containers, as a complement to their specialized reefer services. 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,” says Stig Hoffmeyer, chief executive officer of MCI. 

A portion of the 4,000 units will be manufactured in MCI’s new factory in San Antonio, Chile. The remainder of the order will be fulfilled by MCI’s Qingdao, China, facility.