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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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11/02/19 10:04

The iconic Blue Sticker raises its stake in Berlin

New integrated service, provided by 5 containerships from Central America to European hub in Vlissingen (Netherlands), sets a higher standard for the Chiquita bananas’ quality

Chiquita Brands International announced at Fruit Logistics di Berlino – the largest exhibition dedicated to the logistics of reefer cargo – to have implemented a new, dedicated and integrated container service that sets an even higher standard to safeguard the premium quality of Chiquita bananas across the world.  

The new logistic service will now operate 5 full-container vessels to transport bananas from Central America to Europe’s Vlissingen port in The Netherlands, a new hub that will allow Chiquita to serve all Northern European destinations with the best transit time in the industry.

The investment in this new service will result in fresher bananas and a longer shelf life, thanks to new ultra-efficient containers that positively impact fruit quality by using software that automatically regulates the containers’ compressor thereby controlling the atmosphere. This will also result in a positive environmental impact, as consumption of CO2 has been reduced by 17,000 tons annually, as each new container is 50% more energy efficient than older models.

The new vessels have also helped to reduce the handling of fruit at ports and increased stowage capacity by 12.5%, thanks to a more efficient storage from origin to destination, guaranteeing the cold chain. These improvements will mean more bananas can be moved per trip, using less energy whilst still ensuring the fruit quality is prioritised.

“Looking back over these past years work with the container fleet upgrade, we can proudly say we have achieved something remarkable, saving an unprecedented amount of energy and the equivalent of the CO2 emitted by 3,000 cars per year” said Carlos Lopez Flores, President of Chiquita, who joined the world’s leading banana company in 2003 coming from rival company Dole.

“On January 9th the first vessel in this new service left Central America to sail towards Vlissingen, a new modern hub that will allow Chiquita to serve all Northern European destinations to offer clients the best service in quality, time and efficiency” commented Stefano Di Paolo, President of the Great White Fleet.

The Genoa-born top manager spent his whole career in commercial and shipping related services, starting as commercial manager at the local harbor for the companies Genoa Terminal and TFG Terminal Frutta Genova (Clerici Logistics), before joining the American multinational, worldwide known for its iconic Blue Sticker, in 2007 as commercial director for Italy, largely contributing to the success of the brand in his home country; today Di Paolo is president of the Great White Fleet, the shipping division of Chiquita Brands International.

Exactly two years ago, in February 2017, Chiquita had launched a new California banana shipping service and supply chain improvements to better serve its West Coast customers in North America, reducing fruit transit time by half, resulting in 4-5 days from the banana production area to the Port of Hueneme, Los Angeles, California.

In addition, Chiquita communicated to have been engaged a major refrigerated container renewal program that, since 2014, has brought to replace two thirds of its fleet to create a more sustainable shipping practices; the US company operates 15,000 refrigerated containers.

The impact of this fleet renewal is substantial, giving Chiquita the opportunity to save one third of  energy compared to old units, and electricity savings of 34 million kilowatt hours and an annual emissions reductions of 17,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Angelo Scorza

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