Reflecting the growing use of controlled-atmosphere (CA) technologies to maintain quality of fruits and vegetables over extended shipping times, Hamburg Süd has transported more than 7,000 container shipments of perishable goods using Carrier Transicold’s XtendFRESH atmosphere control system.
At the recent Intermodal Europe, Carrier Transicold and Hamburg Süd, one of the leading ocean carriers in the South American segment, discussed the shipping line’s increased application of the XtendFRESH system for avocados and bananas. Hamburg Süd’s shipments using XtendFRESH technology increased in 2017, and the shipping line expects to use it with an even broader range of perishables in 2018.
“There is a great deal of enthusiasm on the part of exporters to use controlled-atmosphere technologies to reach new regions for their perishable goods,” said Stefan Dühring, global head of logistics at Hamburg Süd. “The number of shipments using XtendFRESH technology represents a significant and growing segment of our refrigerated shipments.”
The XtendFRESH system simultaneously controls carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) levels in multiple combinations within a refrigerated shipping container to reduce respiration and the ripening of fruits and vegetables. This enables a shipping line to transport exported perishable goods over longer times than with refrigeration alone, helping to reach new destinations. Preserving perishables is further enhanced by the XtendFRESH system’s ability to remove ethylene, a hormone released by produce that can accelerate ripening if left unchecked. The system is the only CA solution with an integral ethylene removal capability.
Hamburg Süd, which collaborated with Carrier Transicold on system capabilities and testing during the development of the XtendFRESH system, began acquiring Carrier Transicold PrimeLINE units equipped with XtendFRESH technology in 2014.
“We’ve had success using the XtendFRESH system for avocados and bananas in many of our key refrigerated trade lanes,” said Dühring. “Our confidence in using XtendFRESH technology with higher-respiring perishables has led us to initiate plans to trial the system with shipments of South America-grown blueberries, a lower-respiring fruit.”
Responding to shipping line concerns about the learning curve with using CA technologies, Carrier Transicold provides training in the proper use of the XtendFRESH system and how to prepare a container prior to shipment. Taeckens added that to ensure optimal performance, containers must be in good condition with potential air leaks minimized through the use of a curtain wall at the door end of the container.
Helping to further boost performance, Carrier has worked with shipping lines on enhancements to the XtendFRESH system, including improved gaskets, advanced control software and a sensor to monitor operation of the ethylene and CO2 scrubber motor.
For more information, visit www.carrier.com/container.