- Hapag-Lloyd will add 13,420 new refrigerated containers to its fleet this year. This will bring the carrier's total reefer count to over 100,000, with a capacity of 210,000 TEUs, according to a company press release.
- The carrier expects delivery of the reefers in November 2019, as countries in the southern hemisphere harvest agricultural products. The new containers will start their journey carrying primarily fruits and vegetables like blueberries, cherries and avocados from South America.
- The fleet's expansion will also be the kick-off for the carrier's IoT-based container tracking initiative, Hapag-Lloyd LIVE, according to the release, which will give customers access to "real-time GPS positioning, information on the temperature inside the container, and systems for notifications and alarm management."
The order is a record for the company, according to the release. Previously, Hapag-Lloyd's largest reefer order was for 8,600 TEU from Maersk's container manufacturing subsidiary MCI in October 2018. As of 2018, the carrier's total capacity was 618,000 TEU.
In addition to using refrigeration to keep the produce fresh, some of the next-gen reefers will come equipped with Controlled Atmosphere technology, which monitors and adjusts the gasses in the air, to help slow the ripening process.
The containers will also be used to transport other temperature sensitive items such as pharmaceuticals and blood plasma.
As global trade and consumer demand for fresh foods continue to increase, so has the need for more cold storage and transport. Hapag-Lloyd hasn't been the only carrier to respond to this trend. Maersk has been investing in reefer containers as well. The carrier has over 270,000 reefer containers in its fleet and, like Hapag-Lloyd, has been investing in IoT container tracking and remote monitoring capabilities to enhance its customer offerings.