One of the biggest international trade exhibitions for fresh produce, Asia Fruit Logistica, took place in Hong Kong from September 4th through 6th.
As expected, participation and interest were paramount. Besides the commercial value that an expo of such caliber has to offer, the most interesting part is always the discussions that take place within the expo’s forums.
Many topics were discussed covering everything from blockchain technology in the reefer market to more traditional topics like packaging, cold chain patterns and solutions, and air transportation.
In my opinion, what really stood out were two things. First, CMA CGM’s presence. Eric Legros, Group Vice President of Reefer CMA CGM, introduced the new technologies that CMA has developed – Climactive and Reefresh. Another notable item was the introduction of automatic quoting by steamship lines for reefer cargo.
Climactive is a new technology for reefer containers that delays the ripening process of goods, making longer transit times possible and reaching new markets for highly-sensitive products like bananas, blueberries, and asparagus.
Thanks to Climactive, optimal gas levels inside a container are reached faster, dropping O2 levels faster, and keeping them lower, for a faster duration. The nitrogen pumps that are installed create a barrier against infiltrations that may affect the cargo. A customized auto-regulation of temperature, humidity, and oxygen-to-carbon dioxide balance is created, ensuring a controlled atmosphere that prolongs the ripening process and keeps products fresh much longer.
Reefresh is another new technology used for liquids.
Basically, a monoblock flexitank with a capacity of 12,000 liters is installed installed inside the reefer container. It takes 35 minutes to load and unload. The products are kept sterilized in the flexitank during transportation and delivery, reaching more markets and preserving product quality and texture. A second flexitank can be installed on the same box (a 40 reefer high cube,) bringing capacity to 24,000 liters.
Lastly, most steamship lines are looking to implement automatic quoting on their websites for reefer cargo, too.
Until now, when you wanted a tariff quote for dry cargo, you just put in the port pair and the commodity, and the quote is automatically generated. Now, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd give us the option to do the same for reefer cargo, increasing their market share by doing so and having competition really looking into following their example.