Ripening in Transit

This reusable cubic “module” protects and carries bananas (or any climacteric fruit) and represents the checkerboard cubes in the video below:

Eliminate Wooden Pallets and Cardboard Boxes

As shown above, whether suspended from a rack or pre-stocked on display risers, the Cargo Carousel System (CCS) offers dramatic cost savings throughout the climacteric fruit value chain in several different ways. 1) Eliminate cardboard boxes by shipping the fruit in display-ready racks or risers for better ventilation and less handling at the retailers. 2) Eliminate wooden pallets with reusable cubic “modules” that are suspended from the Carousel to better absorb shock and are made of recyclable aluminum for easy cleaning and better protection of the contents. 3) Ripen in transit with our remote sensor and satellite communication system that continuously monitors the atmosphere and can control the temperature and humidity and can release ethylene for ripening at anytime anywhere in the world. 4) Once emptied, the racks or risers can be stacked on the bottom of the module and that module can then be used for any type of merchandise for the return trip; the owner gets their equipment back for free and earns revenue on both, the supply and the return trips. 5) By-pass ripening centers and distribution centers and the labor required to unload and re-load at each location by storing fruit in the same stackable intermodal container that it’s ripened in, anywhere it’s desired. End-to-end, we estimate a total supply chain cost reduction approaching 70%.

The climacteric is a stage of fruit ripening associated with increased ethylene production and a rise in cellular respiration. Exposure to ethylene causes climacteric fruit to ripen after being picked. Examples include apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, blackberries, kiwi, plums, peaches, pears and tomatoes. Ethylene gas is the ripening agent which occurs naturally in nature. It causes fruits to ripen and decay, vegetables and floral to wilt. Controlling ethylene gas after picking will extend the life cycle of the commodity allowing it to be held for a much longer period of time. The Cargo Carousel System (CCS) can control ethylene gas anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. In transit or in storage, on a ship, truck, train or sitting next to the retailers store, whenever or wherever ethylene gas exposure is desired the CCS offers total control.

As markets expand across the country and around the world, preserving freshness is one of the biggest challenges. While refrigeration and humidity slow decay, they don’t halt the production of ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is used in ripening rooms to color up fruit then is moved to a regular cold storage room with other produce. The ethylene gas turns bananas yellow, tomatoes red and make avocados soft and ready to eat. While ethylene gas is used under controlled conditions as a ripening agent, even small amounts of ethylene gas during shipping and storage causes most fresh produce to deteriorate faster and the CCS eliminates ethylene completely until it’s required.

Currently, there are bottlenecks at the pre-cooling stage after harvest when the produce is cooled for transport both, at the farm and at the port. The ripening center itself also creates a bottleneck as does transport from the distribution centers to the retail store. Each of these bottlenecks can be alleviated by the CCS. Pre-cooling, ripening, transport and storage are all contained in one system with real-time alerting to any changes in the atmosphere and remote supervisory control of the temperature, humidity, ethylene, O2, CO2, light exposure, movement, shock, etc. With this system’s ability to eliminate cardboard boxes and wooden pallets while offering a reverse chain to pay for the return trip, the CCS can provide an impressive ROI for every leg of the climacteric fruit supply and reverse chains.