Korean shipping line HMM has started its first ‘Ultra-Freezer’ service between the port of Busan in South Korea and Barcelona, Spain, in a moves designed to target a market for certain high-value perishable products normally transported by air.
The ultra-freezer service allows the transport of goods at temperatures as low as -60ºC, well beyond the lower limits of regular reefer containers of around -35ºC to -40ºC.
HMM said high technology and skilled personnel were also needed in the ultra-freezer service, as ultra-freezer containers need to maintain the very low temperature during shifting, loading, and discharging process. “Due to such reasons, freight rates of ultra-freezer service are four to eight times higher than regular reefer containers,” the line said.
“With this new ultra-freezer service, HMM can provide premium service on highly profitable items that were air-transported − such as raw tuna and sea urchin − through ocean.” HMM is providing this ultra-freezer service in Busan-Barcelona, Busan-Shimizu (Japan), and Algeciras-Yokohama routes.
HMM said it plans to further expand its services for high-value businesses, such as via its ultra-freezer service, in order to improve its growth and profitability.
An HMM official said: “This ultra-freezer service will do much to advance HMM’s world-class technology in reefer container management. We will continue to provide various services to meet customer demands.”
Meanwhile, HMM said it had successfully completed its pilot operation of using Internet of Things (IoT) technology on reefer containers, launched in August last year. With the IoT technology, cargo status information such as location, temperature, humidity can be checked and managed live on-time, the carrier said, adding: “Combining Blockchain technology with IoT technology will also expand the range of IT systems in the shipping industry.”