Eyeing new efficiencies in global fresh produce and fresh-cut flower transport, Maersk Container Industry (MCI) is now partnering with Boston-based technology company Primaira LLC to develop an air cleaning system in Star Cool Integrated refrigerated containers.
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 otherwise seen on the market, it also effectively removes ethylene.
Bluezone also has modal shift potential. Fresh-cut flowers, for example, are a $14 billion market globally, and more than 90 percent of the intercontinental shipments are by air.
“We are excited about the Bluezone and Star Cool product and its prospects. Just consider the economic and environmental upsides on potentially converting today’s airfreight of fresh-cut flowers into reefer containers,” says Soren Leth Johannsen, chief commercial officer of MCI.
Bluezone in Star Cool will be available in second half 2014.
“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,” says Johannsen.
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,” says Karen Benedek, managing partner of Primaira LLC.
Bluezone complements MCI’s CA and AV+ systems, increasing the geographical reach of container transport and preserving the quality of fruit and produce.
“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,” says Clyde Wingate, director of refrigeration services at Seaboard Marine Ltd. “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.”