Go shopping for strawberries, bananas, or pineapples, and you’ll likely end up with an item supplied by Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. in your cart. And that item may have traveled a long way to get there. The produce giant imports fresh and prepared products from all over the world, operating a far-flung global supply chain to support its operations.
Now, that vast network has grown a little greener, thanks to the addition of six energy-efficient reefer container vessels to its fleet. The ships, which have a cargo capacity of 1,276 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with 634 plugs for 40-foot high-cube reefer containers, are part of the company’s broader sustainability initiative, according to the Coral Gables, Florida-based produce supplier.
The first of the six vessels, the Del Monte Gold, embarked on the high seas in July, traveling from Hong Kong toward the Panama Canal. Like its sister ships, the vessel boasts a sleek hull design that promotes fuel efficiency and enables a service speed of up to 22 knots. It is outfitted with hybrid scrubber systems to reduce pollution and control emissions as well as advanced engine maintenance technology to ensure optimal combustion. The vessel is also equipped with shore power connections that allow it to run on shore-based electricity—instead of burning marine fuel—while at port.
“Today, shipping accounts for the largest portion of our global energy use,” Hans Sauter, Del Monte’s chief sustainability officer, said in a release. “In 2018 ,we committed to lead by example and reduce our vessel emissions by 10%. With the addition of these six new container vessels, we are well on our way, estimating a savings of nearly 19 thousand metric tons of fuel each year.”