Singapore — MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company annouced it is expanding its fleet with a record-setting order of 5,000 refrigerated containers equipped with Carrier Transicold’s XtendFRESH atmosphere control technology, as part of a larger order. This innovative system manages oxygen and carbon dioxide levels within refrigerated containers and removes ethylene, thus slowing the ripening of produce and helping to preserve its quality beyond what can be achieved by refrigeration alone. The XtendFRESH-equipped containers are being leased through SeaCube Containers LLC. Carrier Transicold is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
“By adding atmosphere control for selected perishable cargoes, we are enhancing the care we provide for the valuable commodities we ship for our customers,” said Giuseppe Prudente, chief logistics officer, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. “XtendFRESH technology enables MSC to transport fruit and other refrigerated cargo over longer distances, creating tremendous new opportunities for exporters and importers.”
MSC’s order is the largest for the XtendFRESH option since the system was introduced in 2013, and it represents a significant step in the growing trend among shipping lines to provide controlled-atmosphere technology for the benefit of their customers, according to Willy Yeo, director, marketing, Global Container Refrigeration, Carrier Transicold.
SeaCube CEO Robert Sappio agrees that factors such as slow steaming and new trade routes, resulting from shipping line alliances and consolidations, are creating opportunities for XtendFRESH technology. “MSC is just one example of the very strong demand we’ve seen for controlled-atmosphere equipment. As shipping lines fine-tune their operations and optimize their networks, controlled atmosphere is a way for them to assure their customers that they are carrying their products more safely.”
In use, the XtendFRESH system’s patented, self-regenerating activated-carbon scrubber assembly captures carbon dioxide and ethylene, a hormone given off by ripening produce that can accelerate ripening if left unchecked. As perishable cargo consumes oxygen, on-demand fresh-air ventilation automatically maintains the optimum level inside the container.
“The innovative XtendFRESH system allows shipping lines to optimize conditions for specific commodities,” Carrier Transicold’s Yeo said. “It is the only atmosphere control solution with an integrated ethylene removal capability.”
The XtendFRESH system was selected by MSC as an option for Carrier Transicold PrimeLINE refrigeration units being installed on new 40-foot high-cube containers. In support of its environmental initiatives, MSC specified PrimeLINE units with a new provision that enables conversion from R-134a to R-513A, a refrigerant with a significantly lower global warming potential. PrimeLINE units use digital scroll compressors to deliver greater cooling capacity using less energy than prior models from Carrier Transicold. The PrimeLINE unit’s value proposition also includes rapid pulldown, tight temperature control, high air-flow performance and excellent cost of ownership.