Eyeing new efficiencies in global fresh produce and fresh-cut flower transport, Maersk Container Industry (MCI) is partnering with Boston MA-based technology company Primaira LLC to develop an air cleaning system in Star Cool Integrated refrigerated containers. Thorough tests and trials have shown the patented technology Bluezone to be an efficient eliminator of molds, fungi, and bacteria.
Using an ozone concentration 300 times higher than previously seen on the market, Bluezone also removes ethylene effectively. “We are still working on the final design, but we are convinced that the Bluezone and Star Cool combination represents economic and environmental upsides so far unseen in container transportation,” said Soren Leth Johannsen, chief commercial officer of MCI. MCI’s partner, Primaira, has extensive experience developing technologies that enhance food quality. “The years of exacting, scientific work demonstrate the superiority of the Bluezone technology in ethylene and mold removal and value in extending the shelf life of fresh produce,” said Karen Benedek, managing partner of Primaira. Bluezone complements MCI’s CA and AV+ systems, increasing the geographical reach of containerized transport and preserving the quality of fruit and produce. Reefer container owners are enthusiastic. “We have for years followed the development in cleaning systems in refrigerated containers because our shippers’ attention to cargo quality preservation is becoming more and more pronounced,” said Clyde Wingate, director of refrigeration services at Seaboard Marine Ltd. “The systems offered today in the market, for example using ozone, are often only temporary, installed per shipment, meaning they are operationally cumbersome or the effect, due to a low ozone concentration, is undocumented,” said Wingate. “From a container owner’s perspective, it is also a major concern that ozone by nature is aggressive when exposed to rubber, aluminum and copper. If MCI really can manage to develop a system with high concentration of ozone in a concealed chamber, then I’m confident that both shippers and container lines will be very adaptive.” Bluezone has modal shift potential. Fresh-cut flowers, for example, are a $14 billion market globally, and more than 90% of the intercontinental shipments are by air. Bluezone in Star Cool will be available in the second half of 2014. Access www.mcicontainers.com to learn more.