Bringing the blueberry muffin to your table
Published by Sam Cage on 21 September 2018
A collaboration between Maersk Container Industry, Maersk Line and APM Terminals is using advanced technology combined with the facilities and networks across the company. This is benefiting both Maersk and its customers.
Maersk Line and APM Terminals ensures that the blueberries make their way safely out of South America. Photo: MCI
Anyone for a blueberry muffin?
The journey behind your favourite sweet treat is a little more complicated than you might think. Fruits like avocados and bananas respire, so in effect the CO2 they release can decide the conditions in the reefer containers they are transported in – all the container must to do is to maintain that atmosphere.
Blueberries respire less, and so need a little help to get the conditions just right, with nitrogen and CO2 injected, a process known as CA+.
Maersk Container Industry’s Star Cool CA containers – known as Starcare™ when used by Maersk Line – enable this, together with a collaboration with Maersk Line and APM Terminals which ensures that the blueberries make their way safely out of South America.
“Starcare supports the way we want to work,” says Steen Aunstrup, Senior Reefer Product Specialist for Maersk Line. “Cost-wise it’s better, and we avoid logistics and complications that come with third-party vendors. On top of that, we can give the customer full visibility through RCM – Remote Container Management.”
“To create value for our customers and be accretive for our shareholders, we need to have the best product at the lowest cost – something that’s easy to say but not so easy to do,” says Sean Fitzgerald, CEO of Maersk Container Industry. Photo: Jesper Schwartz
Bringing the best value
The technology and cooperation behind the CA+ service agreement is one of the examples of how the company is stronger when working together, and how brands such as Maersk Container Industry is contributing to the new Maersk.
It aims to do so by leading the container manufacturing industry and consolidating its customer base among container carriers and leasing companies. This is bringing the right technology and services at the right price to support the Maersk vision of being the global integrator of container logistics.
“To create value for our customers and be accretive for our shareholders, we need to have the best product at the lowest cost – something that’s easy to say but not so easy to do,” says Sean Fitzgerald, the Maersk Container Industry CEO who joined Maersk in January. “By always making this our goal, we will have a sustainable competitive business. The after-sale services we supply are also very important. Over a reefer’s 15-year working life, services allow us to be more intimate with the customer, hence drive more value, and hopefully generate repeat business.”
Maersk Container Industry has a total customer base of over 40 container lines, leasing companies and multinational fruit companies, although Maersk Line was the first and today is still the largest. The ambition is to grow the customer breadth and depth even further, and it has recently won several new large customers who have added Star Cool reefer containers to their fleets for the first time ever.
“When we can win with the industry, we can win with Maersk Line, and vice versa,” says Fitzgerald. “Our customers should choose us because we offer the best value, and the same goes for Maersk Line.”
Maersk Container Industry’s Star Cool CA containers – known as Starcare™ when used by Maersk Line. Photo: MCI
Taking full advantage of the collective technological expertise within the cold chain field, for example, benefits Maersk’s global integrator vision in several ways.
It gives Maersk Container Industry customers a seamless world-class end-to-end solution, and the optimised use of in-house services and products is clearly of financially benefit to A.P. Moller - Maersk, as reflected in Maersk Container Industry’s improved balance sheet in 2017.
“We knew we had a good system, but as always with customers, we had to convince them it was easy and consistent to use – so we said, why not conduct a trial? And it went as smoothly as we anticipated,” says Morten Klose, Sales Manager for Maersk Container Industry. “What we’re doing with blueberries is a true Maersk collaboration effort, working as an integrated company for the benefit of all our customers.”
Maersk Container Industry and Maersk Line entered into a service agreement in December for Starcare+ flushing services – injecting the reefers with nitrogen and CO2 – in South America. This caters for high-value blueberry shipments from Chile and Peru during the five-month season, and the plan is to expand to Argentina and South Africa.
Maersk Line has contracted Maersk Container Industry with the task of ensuring the right atmospheric conditions in the Starcare+ CA containers. The service replaces Maersk Line’s activities with third-party suppliers with a more reliable, transparent (through Remote Container Management) and cost-efficient solution.
Maersk Container Industry is looking after the management of its contracted service providers at loading locations to do the right job, including control, injection of nitrogen and CO2 and follow-up. Local APM Terminals depots are being used for this.