Seen here departing Portsmouth in the UK is the multipurpose container/breakbulk reefer ship Star Endeavour 1 owned by Siem Shipping. Portsmouth has evolved into one of the UK’s largest fruit-handling ports, with fruit imports from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Morocco, South Africa, New Zealand and the eastern Mediterranean. The port claims to handle about 70% of the bananas eaten in the UK.
Built by Shikoku Dockyard, Takamatsu, Japan
Owned by Grace Ocean, Singapore
Operated by Philsynergy Maritime, Manila, Philippines
Delivered in 2010
GRT 14,022 tons
DWT 12,967 MT
The history of STAR Reefers dates back to the mid 1990’s when Blue Star Line, owned by the Vestey family, was sold to P&O Nedlloyd. The Vestey family’s Albion Reefers subsidiary went on to merge with Hamburg Sud to form Star Reefers however, a reefer market collapse in 2000/01 resulted in the Anglo-Norwegian financial group Siem Industries Inc. stepping in to save the company with a restructured business strategy. The name of the listed parent company was changed from STAR Reefers Inc. to Siem Shipping Inc. in 2012 in recognition of Siem’s broader shipping interests including Siem Car Carriers and Siem Offshore. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and continues to operate in the reefer industry as STAR Reefers with a current fleet of 28 vessels ranging in size from 370,000 to 616,000 cubic feet.
Del Monte Foods is a major California based food production and distribution company with approximately $1.8 billion of annual sales. The company’s history goes back to the late 1800’s when California first came to prominence as a major producer of fruit and vegetables. In 2014, the company was acquired by the Philippines based food and beverage company Del Monte Pacific Limited in an acquisition deal of US$1.67 billion.
The seaborne transportation of fresh produce in both conventional reefer ships and refrigerated container is estimated to be around 109 million tons per annum translating to some 16,900 laden conventional reefer ships of 500,000 cubic feet average, or 3.65 million laden 40’ high cube reefer containers. Overall, fresh produce accounts for 4.3% of world seaborne trade with Seatrade being the No.1 reefer ship operator having around 56x 527,500 cubic feet average capacity ships. At the end of 2017, the conventional reefer fleet was about 400 vessels with an average age of 25 years. There were just 17 dedicated reefer container vessels on order.
Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.