The remainder of the capacity was handled by conventional reefer ships, with the capacity of a typical conventional vessel approximately 4500 pallets and larger vessels carrying up to 6000 pallets at a time. The increase in the use of containers for the export of fruit has resulted in the need to rethink and redesign the packaging of fruit, as incorrect airflow through the fruit has been shown to affect the quality and shelf life of the fruit (M. However, reefer containers are designed to maintain the temperature within a predetermined range, not to cool it down.
The percentage of refrigerated containerised transport increased to 90% in 2010 (M. This implies that the cargo (in this case summer fruit) must be brought to the required temperature before being loaded into a reefer container (Perishable Products Exports Control Board [PPECB] 2013).
This article concludes by highlighting areas that need to be addressed along the fruit export supply chain.
The optimal management of cold chains is important.
The article also determines whether the implementation of the NAVIS and Refcon systems in the Port of Cape Town made any difference to the number of breaks experienced in the fruit export cold chain.
This article identifies the number and length of temperature breaks along the fruit export cold chain and provides industry with areas to focus on to improve operational procedures along the fruit export supply chain to ensure optimal quality.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Temperature data collected with temperature monitoring devices from different fruit export supply chains of grapes, plums and pome fruit (apples and pears) were analysed to identify the percentage of temperature breaks and the length of temperature breaks that occur at each segment of the cold chain.
Data on the ambient temperature inside the containers as well as the number and length of breaks in the cold chain were collected during the summer fruit seasons, from November to the end of April, of 2011/20/2013 from the point in the supply chain when the fruit was loaded into the containers until they were loaded onto the vessel.
Analysis of the data is provided and problems identified along the fruit export cold chain are discussed.