MSC Adds 5,000 Star Cool Units Catering to Fresh Produce Demand

MSC is leaning into the growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables by integrating Star Cool refrigeration unit directly into the container to extend the shelf life of products.

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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

People around the world are increasingly seeking a healthy lifestyle. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important contributor, with the added benefit of a delicious taste.

As a result, the total global fruit trade market has grown by an average of 40% over the last ten years to 63 million tons, underpinned by Asia’s rapidly expanding middle classes, according to data from Fruit & Vegetable Facts.

MSC is a world leader in meeting that demand through its reefer cargo services. With over 1.8 million TEU annual reefer shipments in 2019, it is continually investing in the best-refrigerated transport solutions for all kinds of fruit and vegetables – and is now adding over 5,000 Star Cool units using Controlled Atmosphere (CA) technology.

“By adding more capacity for transporting temperature-sensitive cargo, MSC is offering even more options for our customers to meet their growing demand,” says Giuseppe Prudente, MSC’s Chief Logistics Officer. “MSC understands the importance of preserving the condition of its customers’ cargo from the moment it is loaded until the moment it reaches its delivery point, and thus helping producers of all sizes and in all regions to open up new markets for their high quality fruits and vegetables.”

Effective and efficient

CA is an active process to regulate atmosphere composition to extend the shelf-life, maintain the appearance, freshness and quality of perishable products such as stone fruit, apple, avocado, lettuce and persimmon. It does this by slowing the natural ripening process by reducing oxygen concentration and increasing the carbon dioxide.

Star Cool CA is based on the concept of an effective, simple and low-energy CA system that is built into the Star Cool Integrated Reefer. By integrating the refrigeration unit directly into the container box, MSC can offer an advanced solution that weighs less, carries more and consumes less energy, without sacrificing strength or reliability. In a conventional reefer, there is a high level of heat transfer via the double frames of machinery and container. Integrating Star Cool eliminates this thermal bridging, resulting in reduced heat leakage and improved energy efficiency.

MSC is also installing StarConomy control software on its entire Star Cool fleet, reducing energy consumption by up to 50%. With investments like this, MSC ensures its reefer fleet is up-to-date and sustainable, and ready for any forthcoming regulatory changes around emissions.

Helping fruits shippers reach new destinations

Not only MSC has responded to the booming market for fresh fruit and vegetables by continuously investing in reefer technologies but the company also plays a key role in maximizing the shelf-life and quality of the agricultural produce it transports, thus helping its customers expand their business by bringing cargo to distant markets in perfect condition.

Recent examples show that MSC is serving many fruit producers using the CA advanced technology, such as the first melon shipments from Spain to Asia, the first ever shipment of grapes from Spain to Vietnam and high-quality bananas from Ecuador to Asian consumers.

To achieve this, MSC uses various CA systems with the support of key technology providers, such as Star Cool® CA, XtendFRESH, Liventus, Maxtend and Purfresh. All these technologies are used to prolong the perfect condition of the fruit.