Following the merger between container carriers Hapag-Lloyd and UASC, Hapag-Lloyd Turkey has grown to now carry almost 500,000 TEU per year.
One area in particular that is poised for growth is refrigerated cargo segment. After the integration of UASC, Hapag-Lloyd Turkey said it intends to continue growing its reefer market share, which is now at 6,000 TEU yearly.
Turkey is a large producer of citrus, cherries, apricots, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes as well as other fruits and vegetables, and Hapag-Lloyd sees enormous potential particularly in Mersin, Iskenderun and its geographical hinterland.
Hapag-Lloyd uses the reefer containers to ship a variety of temperature-sensitive cargo including fruits and vegetables as well as pharmaceuticals, meat and fish. The advantage of the reefer container is that a computer uses sensors to continually control the temperature inside the containers, and to operate special temperature programs that are set up prior to the start of a shipment – so that the cargo is fresh when it arrives at its destination.
Beyond this, Hapag-Lloyds reefer containers feature "Controlled Atmosphere" technology, which extends the shelf life of certain kinds of fruits and vegetables without compromising their quality. Fruits, for example, are considered to still be alive even after they are harvested. Even with adequate refrigeration, they spoil after a certain amount of time. The technology slows the fruit’s natural ripening process, enabling it to be transported across great distances.
Having recently made the first calls of the 13,200 TEU Hamburg Express class vessels on the newly created MD3 service, Hapag-Lloyd makes direct calls to Istanbul, Izmir and Mersin.
“It is essential for us to ensure that our customers get skilled support for their sensitive cargo needs. Thus, we will open a dedicated ‘Reefer Desk’ in Mersin in mid of August, with reefer experts in place, who make sure that temperature sensitive goods of our customers are handled with the utmost of care,” said Sales Director Sandra Okceci.