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VLISSINGEN, The Netherlands: February, 21 2019. Chiquita Brands has begun operating five containerships between Central America and the North Sea Port of Vlissingen in a bid to serve Northern European destinations with the best transit time in the industry.

Chiquita NSPThe company says the investment will result in fresher bananas and a longer shelf life, thanks to new “ultra-efficient containers” that use software that automatically regulates the containers’ compressor to control the atmosphere and reduce CO2 emissions by 17,000 tons annually - as each new container is 50 percent more energy-efficient than older models.

The new vessels have also helped to reduce the handling of fruit at ports and increased stowage capacity by 12.5 percent, thanks to a more efficient storage from origin to destination, guaranteeing the cold chain. The result is more bananas can be shipper per sailing, using less energy while improving fruit quality.

"Looking back over these past years work with the container fleet upgrade, we can proudly say we have achieved something remarkable," said Carlos Lopez Flores, president of Chiquita. "We've saved an unprecedented amount of energy – the equivalent of the CO2 emitted by 3,000 cars per year."

This week the first Chiquita ‘Great White Fleet’ containership arrived at the specialist temperature-controlled facilities of Kloosterboer in North Sea Port as part of an expected increase in banana traffic from 400,000 tonnes to 720,000 tonnes and an additional 150 calls annually.

Kloosterboer is acquiring additional land from North Sea Port to store Chiquita’s reefers as part of a plan to develop it as a ‘food port’. Founded in 1925, the company remains a family-run business with over 4.7 million cubic metres of refrigerated capacity for food products including fish, meat, fruit, fruit juices and concentrates, dairy and potato products.

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