New Reefer Ship Design Promises 40 Percent Cost Reduction

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday October 7, 2013

Danish naval architecture firm Knud E. Hansen A/S says it has developed a new reefer ship design for use in the banana trade that will reduce unit costs by 40 percent.

The firm developed the RoRo vessel in cooperation with Reefer Intel and Stena RoRo, and it says the design focuses on fast, efficient cargo handling in port, which allows it to load and discharge in 12 hours, compared with an industry average of 36 to 48 hours.

The vessel also features "green technology" and is designed operate at slow speeds to save fuel.

The design could help revive reefers, which must compete against increasingly large and efficient container ships, according to a report published by produce shipping news site Fresh Plaza.

"There are 300 vessels used in the banana trade just now but only 10 have been built in the last ten years," said Birger Lindberg Skov, managing director at Reefer Intel, who helped present the design at the recent Cool Logistics conference in Rotterdam.

"If we don't start building new ships it will be a disaster."

The ship has a capacity of 11,500 High Q pallets, or 621,000 boxes  of bananas, 45 percent more capacity than traditional reefers.

It is also capable of accommodating plastic crates and carrying conventional cargo such as cars on return trips.