Maersk Container Industry (MCI) started producing its first refrigerated containers and Star Cool refrigeration devices at its recently opened facility in San Antonio, Chile.
“In this sweet spot of fruit exporters, we have placed the factory right where the demand is. For the first time ever in South America, reefer containers can go straight from factory to farm,” MCI CEO Stig Hoffmeyer said. “Offering the Star Cool Integrated reefers locally to shipping lines, farmers, fruit distributors and leasing companies will have a financial benefit counted in thousands of dollars per reefer, and millions for the industry in total.”
The South American factory will produce trial runs of 40-foot freezer containers, introduced in the second half of 2015 into the Maersk line. Typically, customers order over 100,000 of these containers every year.
“MCI is a strategic supplier for Maersk Line,” Maersk Line Chief Operations Officer
Soren Toft said. “The production of the Star Cool reefer containers out of Chile means that we can immediately employ them instead of an empty relocation trip. It will help us create new business opportunities in the west coast of South America.”
Shipping analysts estimated that over 300,000 containers are needed in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
Farmers having close access to the Star Cool Integrated reefer technology could open broader market coverage and become a catalyst for South American fresh produce exports.
“We’re looking forward to further applying our advanced refrigeration solutions to the very specific cargo needs of the local fruit industry,” Hoffmeyer said. “We are in this for the long term and our 1,000 employees are fully committed to ensure an ongoing world class production. ... In the coming years, we will gradually ramp up production to 25,000 reefer containers per year giving full priority to safety and quality. The factory is designed for a potential future sale of 40,000 reefers by 2020, all under one roof.”
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