Maersk Container Industry (MCI) has partnered with Boston-based technology company Primaira LLC to develop an air cleaning system in Star Cool integrated refrigerated containers.
Bluezone is a patented technology proven in tests and trials to be an efficient eliminator of mould, fungi and bacteria. Using an ozone concentration 300 times higher than otherwise seen on the market, Bluezone also removes ethylene effectively.
Soren Leth Johannsen, chief commercial officer of MCI comments that the Bluezone and Star Cool combination represents economic and environmental upsides so far unseen in container transportation.
MCI’s partner, Primaira has extensive experience developing technologies that enhance food quality.
Karen Benedek, managing partner of Primaira LLC explains that the years of exacting, scientific work demonstrate the superiority of the Bluezone technology in ethylene and mould removal, and value in extending the shelf life of fresh produce.
Bluezone complements MCI’s well-known CA and AV+ systems, increasing the geographical reach of containerised transport and preserving the quality of fruit and produce.
Reefer container owners are enthusiastic. Clyde Wingate, director of refrigeration services at Seaboard Marine Ltd says that they have followed the development of cleaning systems in refrigerated containers for years due to increased shippers’ attention to cargo quality preservation.
Wingate explains that current systems using ozone are often only temporarily installed per shipment, meaning it is operationally cumbersome or the effect due to a low ozone concentration is undocumented. From a container owner’s perspective it is also a major concern that ozone by nature is aggressive when exposed on rubber, aluminium and copper.
Bluezone has modal shift potential. Fresh-cut flowers, for example, are a USD 14 billion market globally, and more than 90 percent of the intercontinental shipments are by air. According to Soren Leth Johannsen, there are several economic and environmental upsides on potentially converting today’s airfreight of fresh-cut flowers into reefer containers.
Bluezone in Star Cool will be available in the 2nd half of 2014.