MAERSK Container Industry (MCI), a part of the Maersk Group, has commenced production of refrigerated containers and Star Cool refrigeration machines at its new factory in San Antonio, Chile, which is strategically located in South America to cater to strong demand for fruit exports.
The first trial production of these ISO standard 40-foot reefer containers were delivered during the third quarter to Maersk Line and CMA CGM, and both shipping lines have since placed new orders.
Maersk Line has secured a fixed monthly volume of these reefer containers from the MCI facility. The production of the reefer containers out of Chile means that the Danish carrier will be able to immediately employ them instead of making first an empty relocation trip and it will also help the carrier create new business opportunities on the west coast of South America.
CEO of MCI Stig Hoffmeyer said in a statement: "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."
Mr Hoffmeyer said the new MCI factory is a "strategic US$200 million green field investment. 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."
Every year 100,000 reefer containers are needed in Chile to cater for the large export market. Including Colombia, Ecuador and Peru demand amounts to approximately 300,000 reefer containers, predicts Seabury, the international shipping and transportation analyst. For many years, China has up until now been the only country with reefer container production.
Source : HKSG.