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Massive investment in new 20’ and 40’ reefers for the Pacific routes

The 20’ reefer still has a bright future! Even though shipping companies, in a bid to boost productivity, are progressively ditching the smaller format in favour of the 40’, Marfret has chosen to adapt to its customers’ requirements and offer a mix for greater flexibility.

Productivity, savings, or shippers’ satisfaction? On balance, Marfret considers that its customers’ take precedence and is offering Australian and New Zealand shippers a choice of 20’ and 40’ containers for their temperature-controlled export consignments.

Bucking the trend put in place by cellular container ship operators, who opt for 40’ containers in order to lower handling costs, Marfret is partially replacing the 750 20’ reefers actually on lease with brand new, wholly owned boxes on order from CIMC in Taicang, China.

“The purchase of 300 20’ reefers shows our long-term commitment to this market. Once delivered at the end of May, the containers will be shipped directly to Australia and New Zealand from Shanghai,” says Marfret’s managing director Guillaume Vidil. This new order follows the purchase of 300 40’HC reefers delivered in February 2023. “Two hundred of these were shipped to Melbourne, Brisbane and Tauranga and 100 to the Caribbean,” adds Gilles Gallinaro, Marfret’s logistics manager. The reefer boxes are intended for the major beef and lamb export traffics out of Australia and New Zealand, mainly to the United States. With 520,000 tonnes equivalent carcass weight exported each year, this is one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy, worth 1.23bn$ annually. “Marfret’s decision to continue providing 20’ reefers follows shipping companies’ withdrawal from the market, since customers need the two types of container depending on the type and volumes of goods being shipped,” explains Véronique Passarelli, NASP (North Atlantic South Pacific) line manager.  

Marfret Pacific zone agents’ conference

The customers’ requests to make 20’ reefers available was a major discussion topic at the conference of Marfret’s Pacific zone agents that took place in New Zealand last February.

“The get-together was an opportunity to strengthen ties between agents and identify potential synergies between regions as well as opportunities,” adds Passarelli. The possibility of a regional services was another topic of discussion; Marfret has operated services to Oceania since 1995.

During their visit to Tahiti, Guillaume Vidil and Véronique Passarelli, together with Marfret’s local representative Hervé Godard, were received by the President of French Polynesia and his ministers.

It was an opportunity for Guillaume Vidil to underline the company’s attachment to Papeete, the flagship port call on its NASP service and gateway to all of Polynesia’s islands for fresh produce from France.