Reefer equipment scarcity becoming an issue, says Maersk
Head of global commercial reefer management Ole Schack Petersen told www.freshfruitportal.com the scarcity of reefer equipment was a pressing issue in the perishables shipping industry and needed to be addressed quickly, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere.
Petersen will be exploring trends in shipping options and innovations next week at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fruittrade Latin America event, in a joint session with heads from fellow shipping companies The Seatrade Group and Pacific Seaways, along with kiwifruit marketer Zespri's shipping manager.
The event will take place in the Chilean capital Santiago on Nov. 12 and 13, with the discussion on shipping trends due to take place on the second day.
"In the Southern Hemisphere where they have more on-off seasons, they have less and less equipment and they are receiving it later," Petersen said.
"Carriers are not building enough containers to provide for increased demand in shipping lately."
Petersen also said the profitability of shipping companies had been in gradual decline over recent years, which has not helped the situation.
"This is definitely something that needs adjusting. It is a major thing that is happening," he said.
Indian grape exports on the up
As well as the diminishing availability of containers for transporting perishable goods, the Maersk reefer management head also mentioned a couple of significant crop trends he had noticed around the world.
"Both Peru and India are really growing their grape exports quite a lot," he said.
"In addition, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco are growing their citrus and vegetable shipments, and of course they will likely fill a lot of the supply gap in Russia left by the EU."
He added the Southern Hemisphere would generally have to divert a lot of its fresh produce away from Europe due to oversupply issues, and they would probably shift their attention to Asian markets.
Speaking about next week's inaugural PMA Fruittrade Latin America, Petersen said he was looking forward to cementing Maersk's global reputation across the produce industry.
"These events are an opportunity to consolidate Maersk as the leading reefer container company in the world. We will be able to speak to people and tell about what we are doing in terms of product development."
Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons