Africa Express Line (AEL) has added 500 Star Cool Integrated reefer containers manufactured by Maersk Container Industry (MCI) to its fleet.
The containers will be deployed to service AEL’s owner, French fruit exporter Compagnie Fruitiere, in routes to and from Europe and West Africa.
Mathew Shed, technical director at AEL, stated: “We set out to invest in containers that would protect the high-value produce we transport while saving energy.
“After comparative field trials, the controlled atmosphere technology clearly demonstrated its ability to help ensure the produce arrives at its destination in optimal condition.”
AEL will also utilise the energy saving applications and remote monitoring capabilities of Star Cool.
All Star Cool containers will be equipped with modems for remote access to monitor the assets, temperature, atmosphere, and alarms logged in real time in the units.
AEL will activate the StarConomy reefer control application in an effort to further propel energy performance.
According to a statement from MCI, this is “proven to halve energy use while maintaining the same temperature inside the container, preserving produce quality.”
Soren Johannsen, chief commercial officer at MCI, said: “The integrated Star Cool 2017 model provides a whole suite of new efficiency-enhancing features to support the needs of modern container operations – from monitoring and controlling the atmospheric conditions on the inside of the container to digitalised solutions that allow for transparency and expanded data access.”
The Star Cool reefer units feature a meter, which measures energy use in real time, either manually or via AEL’s full modem coverage.
In addition, Intelligent Trip Inspection (ITI) now comes standard in all Star Cool reefers, providing a digital inspection system that reduces the need for time consuming and costly pre-trip inspections.
ITI provides self-diagnostics that confirm whether the container is ready for the next trip and highlight if steps in the ITI process need further investigation.
AEL is additionally chartering a new build 2,345 teu-capacity vessel, equipped with high reefer plug capacity.