(April 26) MEESE ORBITRON DUNNE Co., Ashtabula, Ohio, has given its P-291 Ship Shape bulk container a makeover and, by doing so, has made it a more viable shipping option for those in the produce industry.

The reusable container, which was introduced in March, is the same size as the original, at 44 inches by 32.5 inches, but its redesign allows it to hold 850 pounds of product, compared with its predecessor’s 600-pound capacity, said Paul Entin, spokesman.

“It can fit more produce in a given amount of space and maximize truck space,” Entin said. “As fuel costs continue to rise, efficiency in transportation will become more important.”

The new polyethylene Ship Shape container also features a powder-coated steel reinforcing brace that strengthens the upper rim’s perimeter, Entin said.

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OMAHA, NEB.-BASED Union Pacific Corp. reported a spike in this year’s first-quarter profits, up $75 million from 2006.

On April 19, Union Pacific cited a first-quarter net income of $386 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, in contrast to a 2006 first quarter that witnessed $311 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, according to a news release.

First-quarter operating revenue also grew 4% to a record $3.8 billion, and operating income rose to a first-quarter record of $719 million, the release said.

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TYSON FOODS INC. and ConocoPhillips have announced a partnership to produce and market alternative diesel fuel.

Tyson said on its Web site that the companies will use beef, pork and poultry by-product to create fuel.

Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson said it will begin processing animal fat at some of its North American facilities later this year. According to a news release, ConocoPhillips would produce the fuel, which will meet standards for ultra-low-sulfur diesel, in several refineries.

Tyson said production could eventually reach 175 million gallons per year, but no timeline was given for reaching capacity.