In its ongoing efforts in becoming a greener company, Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International is adding more than 1,000 PrimeLINE container refrigeration units from Carrier Transicold to its banana fleet.

Chiquita adds PrimeLINE refrigeration units

Courtesy Carrier Corp.

Chiquita Brands International is adding more than 1,000 PrimeLINE container refrigeration units from Carrier Transicold to its banana fleet.

All of those new units come equipped with QUEST (Quality and Energy Efficiency in Storage and Transport) control software that enables further energy savings by cycling refrigeration on and off based on temperature and are designed for specific perishable items, according to a release from Carrier Corp., a business unit of United Technologies Corp., Hartford, Conn.

“Saving energy is important,” Juan Guell, equipment director for Chiquita, said in the release. “We included QUEST because, for us, it’s very important from the energy side and for the carbon footprint.”

The acquisition of the refrigeration units enhances Chiquita’s ongoing green transportation initiatives, which recently earned the company the 2009 Circle of Excellence Award from the Distribution Business Management Association, according to the release.

“With the new PrimeLINE units, the idea will be to keep building on that,” Guell said in the release. “These units will definitely contribute significantly.”

Guell added that the speed of pulldown, which can be doubled with the new units, was important in maintaining high product quality.

The new units will be used on routes from Central America, 95% of which are destined for North American ports, where Chiquita banana containers are transferred for ground transportation around the country.

Guell also said in the release that the new refrigeration were significantly lighter than their old counterparts, which will also reduce transportation costs and energy usage.

“For banana companies, weight is the No. 1 issue,” he said. “We are watching every single kilo.”

Finally, Guell explained that the PrimeLINE units were similar enough to Carrier’s EliteLINE units, which Chiquita also uses, simplifying things from a maintenance standpoint.

“Very few components change, so we don’t have to inventory a lot of different spare parts,” Guell said in the release.