New HMM Ultra-Freezer Reefer Service Takes on Air Freight


Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will start transporting perishable goods by ship at a temperature of– 60ºC after launching its first ‘Ultra-Freezer’ service, which will allow it to compete with the speed of air freight.

Regular reefer container temperatures range from – 35ºC to -40ºC.

The colder service will allow HMM to ship raw tuna and sea urchin by sea due to its technology maintaining the very low temperature during the shifting, loading, and discharging processes.

However, HMM has said that the freight rates of its ultra-freezer service are four to eight times higher than regular reefer containers due to the additional management.

The cost difference between sea freight and air freight depends on the trade and the cargo that is shipped.

As the airplane capacity is typically limited by weight and the sea freight capacity by volume, the difference in price for sea freight and airfreight is less for light cargo than it is for heavy cargo.

Learn everything you should know about reefer shipping by reading PTI's guide

The ultra-freezer service will operate from ports in Algeciras and Barcelona, Spain; Shimizu and Yokohama, Japan, and Busan, Korea.

HMM also has plans to expand the business in order to improve its growth and profitability.

HMM said that it owed the advancements in its reefer offering to “high technology and skilled personnel”.

The carrier successfully completed its pilot operation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology on reefer containers in August last year, meaning that cargo status such as location, temperature and humidity can be checked and managed in real-time.

HMM is also experimenting with blockchain and IoT technology to expand the range of IT systems in the shipping industry.

A 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.”

Read more: Søren Leth Johannsen, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk Container Industry (MCI), spoke to Laurence Doe, Online Editor at Port Technology, at Intermodal Europe 2017 to share his thoughts on how the company and the reefer industry is progressing

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