Chiquita Brands International Inc. has invested in its future with huge increases in the number of container refrigeration units, despite reporting a 7% drop in net sales for 2010.

The Cincinnati-based produce giant added 4,700 Carrier Transcold PrimeLINE units in 2010, according to a news release from Carrier.

Previously, Chiquita had 1,250 of the units in use for its banana fleet. The additional units are expected to make it easier for Chiquita to meet its customers’ demands while using less energy.

“Energy conservation is vital to Chiquita’s green transportation initiatives,” said Juan Carlos Hernandez, Chiquita’s manager of maintenance and repair, who supervised testing of the units. “We were pleased that it not only reduces fuel consumption related to shipboard power generation but also reduces emissions proportionately, helping us to shrink our carbon footprint.”

Chiquita’s new reefer units are equipped with Carrier’s Quest power-saving technology, which helps reduce power consumption and increase pulldown performance, according to the release.

“Pulldown performance is critical to assuring the highest quality product,” Hernandez said in the release.

Chiquita plans to the PrimeLINE units on routes from Central America, 95% of which are destined for North American ports. For more information about PrimeLINE refrigeration units, turn visit www.container.carrier.com.

Chiquita augments chill capacity