Safmarine Enhances Reefer Technology

Friday, February 17, 2006
Ship owner and operator Safmarine’s new and improved reefer (refrigerated cargo) technology is providing transport solutions for produce previously considered to be unsuitable for shipment by sea. In April last year, Safmarine South Africa shipped the 40-foot Magnum reefer containers from Cape Town to the Far East. The containers are built to maintain a set temperature of –35 ºC in an ambient environment of up to 50 ºC. This is about 10 ºC cooler than most refrigerated containers. The new containers are ideally suited to the transport of premium refrigerated cargo, including fatty fish, mussels, shrimp and ice cream. In some instances, such as the refrigeration of fatty fish, this capacity can extend the product’s shelf life by more than seven months. The Mag-num containers are fitted with a Copeland scroll compressor to maintain a stable temperature of –35 ºC in even the hottest environments, thereby reducing the risk of recrystallisation. Containerized refrigerated shipping, which differs from the shipping of temperature-sensitive goods in refrigerated vessels, has witnessed a steady increase over the past few years. In addition to the implementation of Magnum containers, Safmarine introduced two new Big White vessels to its fleet early last year – Saf-marine Nomazwe and Safmarine Nokwanda. The new vessels offer shippers on the Europe-South Africa trade increased capacity for their refrigerated exports. The vessels can carry more than 900 FFE (forty foot equivalent) refrigerated containers, suggesting that the vessel is capable of carrying relatively more refrigerated cargoes in comparison to the ship’s overall cargo intake. These are water-cooled to reduce energy consumption for cooling.

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