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Maersk Container Industry Exits Dry Container Business

Credit: MCI

By The Maritime Executive 2019-01-05 17:16:11

Maersk Container Industry (MCI) is exiting the dry container manufacturing business to focus on growing its cold chain business. 

Currently, one out of three refrigerated containers used in global perishable transportation uses Star Cool container technology manufactured by MCI. With the recent launch of Sekstant® Global Guidance solutions, the company is entering the IoT space, transforming reefer operations through the use of operational data.

The market for dry containers has been under enormous pressure for some time, says MCI, but reefer volumes continue to grow due to global demand for fresh produce and other commodities. The decision to exit the dry container business means that the company's production facility in Dongguan, China, will close. The factory has been idle since the beginning of December 2018.

“MCI’s strategy is to grow in cold chain where our Star Cool technology is a clear leader. This growth requires focused investment in the best products and services,” explains Sean Fitzgerald, CEO of Maersk Container Industry. “By putting all of MCI’s resources on the cold chain business will ensure sustainable growth and continued investment in the best products and services for our customers.”

 In June 2018, MCI closed its manufacturing facility in San Antonio, Chile, consolidating all its reefer manufacturing in the company’s original facility in Qingdao in China where production commenced in 1998. 

MCI received a record reefer order in October last year, with Hapag-Lloyd ordering 8,600 units, of which 2,000 will be controlled atmosphere reefers. The successful launch of Hapag-Lloyd’s ExtraFresh and ExtraFresh Plus services has driven the company's demand for more controlled atmosphere reefers. The order brings the number of Star Cool controlled atmosphere reefers in Hapag-Lloyd’s ExtraFresh fleet up to 5,000. MCI is producing the 8,600 Star Cool Integrated reefers at their Qingdao facility.