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Crowley upgrades refrigerated box fleet

The Jacksonville, Florida-based ocean carrier finds continued demand for reefers among Central American and Caribbean fruit and produce shippers.

Refrigerated containers remain a hot commodity for Crowley Logistics’ myriad fresh fruit and produce shippers across Central America and the Caribbean.

To meet this demand for cold-chain capacity during the past several years, the company has made periodic purchases of new refrigerated boxes. Crowley announced this week it has added another 222 new 40-foot, high-cube containers in addition to a delivery of 300 in January.

The new reefers were delivered to Guatemala’s port of Santo Tomas this month and are already transporting product northbound, according to the Jacksonville, Florida-based company.

The reefers are equipped with the latest wireless asset monitoring technology, which provides continuous monitoring of the boxes from origin to destination, both over sea and land, the company said.

Crowley’s latest batch of reefer boxes were purchased from container manufacturer MCI, with Starcool refrigeration technology. The reefers added in January were provided by CIMC, using Carrier refrigeration, said Crowley spokesman Mark Miller.

The two reefer deliveries this year replace older equipment within Crowley’s total reefer fleet of nearly 5,000 boxes. The company looks to cycle out existing reefers every 12 years, Miller said.

Crowley did not disclose what it paid for the new 222 reefer containers but said it has collectively invested about $160 million in new cargo equipment since 2014.

Miller said the company has no plans to add reefer capacity during the remainder of the year.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Crowley (No. 204).

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.