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MCI takes 78% of Hapag-Lloyd reefer order

Maersk Container Industry (MCI) will supply 8,600 of the 11,100 new reefer boxes Hapag-Lloyd ordered in August.

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MCI takes 78% of Hapag-Lloyd reefer order

The huge reefer order, initially reported on 16 August, was the latest in a procurement programme that has seen Hapag-Lloyd add 30,550 new reefers since 2015. MCI has now announced that 8,600 of the 11,100 new reefers will be its Star Cool Integrated reefers, of which 2,000 will be MCI Controlled Atmosphere (CA) units.

The entire order will be capable of using the lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) R513A refrigerant blend now offered by MCI as an alternative to R134A, and first used by Hapag-Lloyd in 1,000 Star Cool units last year. The GWP of R134a is 1360, and switching to R513A lowers that figure to 573, a 56% reduction. “The operational experience gained so far by Hapag-Lloyd with the environmentally friendly refrigerants has been ‘eventless’ and without any obstacles,” said MCI.

Niklas Ohling Senior Director at Hapag-Lloyd
Niklas Ohling Senior Director at Hapag-Lloyd

Niklas Ohling, senior director at Hapag-Lloyd, welcomed having R513A as a drop-in option: “It is reassuring to know that we have the ability to fully convert a large part of our reefer fleet to a lower GWP refrigerant solution, without having to make any modifications to the machines or compromise on performance.” All Star Cool units produced since July 2017 can be charged with either R513A or R134a, while those manufactured earlier can also be adapted to run on R513A “with only minor modifications”.

“We deeply value the trust shown in us by Hapag-Lloyd, which is founded on 18 years of experience in supplying reefer containers to them,” said Søren Leth Johannsen, Chief Commercial Officer at MCI. “This close cooperation led Hapag-Lloyd to order their first batch of Star Cool units in 2012, since when the proportion of these cutting-edge reefers in the Hapag-Lloyd fleet has steadily grown over the years. The 8,600-reefer order from Hapag-Lloyd obviously marks a further milestone for MCI and Star Cool”.

Søren Johannsen Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Container Industry
Søren Johannsen Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Container Industry

Hapag-Lloyd’s CA products include ExtraFresh and ExtraFresh Plus. ExtraFresh takes advantage of natural fruit respiration using passive CA technology, while ExtraFresh Plus controls the atmosphere with additional nitrogen injection (Active CA). MCI’s Star Cool CA technology is a passive system, and the 2,000 new MCI CA units will take the total number of units in Hapag-Lloyd’s ExtraFresh fleet up to 5,000.


MCI claims its Star Cool reefer is the most energy efficient in the market, which it adds can now be proved in real time thanks to the built-in energy meter, which MCI was the first in the industry to offer. This will help Hapag-Lloyd measure its environmental performance: “Our aim is to cut Hapag-Lloyd’s total carbon footprint by a further 20% by 2020 and efficient reefer containers will play a significant role in achieving this goal,” Niklas Ohling concluded.

MCI has already begun manufacturing the 8,600 units at its Qingdao plant in China.


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