Maersk Container Industry (MCI), the container manufacturing division of A.P. Møller Maersk, purchased 116,000 plastic balls as part of a recent trial to test and increase the effectiveness of its refrigerated containers in transporting fresh produce.
The balls were adapted so they would respire in much the same way as fresh fruit and vegetables do, enabling MCI to assess various improvements to its reefer box service.
MCI's container technology manager Lars Lübker explains why the company opted to run such a large trial: "The challenge by transporting fruits and vegetables is that they respire. They are living organisms and they need to be taken special care of. That means we need to control the environment inside the container with perfection."
"In order to improve the performance of a container we had to develop a specific artificial fruit. We did that by purchasing 116,000 plastic balls. We modified the plastic balls so that they can respire much in the same way as fruits and vegetables do."
According to Lübker, the improvements mean that products shipped in Maersk containers will be perfect "even after several weeks of transportation."
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