A REFRIGERATED sea container trial with specialty melons will run for three weeks at the Port of Townsville. It will provide primary information on optimal harvest time and shelf life validation for sea transportation of Burdekin-grown fruit to Asia.

“At present growers in north Queensland send their produce south for export, which adds to their supply chain costs and delivery time,” Port of Townsville’s trade development manager Maria James said.

“The success of this trial could assist the region’s growers by reducing transportation costs and ensuring their customers are getting faster fresher produce, boosting the capacity and sustainability of north Queensland’s horticultural sector.”

The project is funded through the Growing Queensland’s Food Exports pilot program and supported by global shipping line ANL who have provided use of a refrigerated sea container for the trial along with expertise and guidance.

Shane Walden, chief commercial officer of ANL said, “with customers at the centre of our focus, we want to partner with innovative members of our local market just like the Port of Townsville”.


“Leveraging ANL’s refrigerated containers and value-added-services such as Controlled Atmosphere and Cold Sterilisation in Transit, exporters can protect the quality of their commodities by managing influencing factors like CO2, humidity, ventilation and temperature.”

ANL’s broad coverage also provides opportunity for customers to export to South East Asia and beyond. Servicing the major hubs of Singapore and Port Kelang, customers can transship their cargo anywhere in the world, leveraging the CMA CGM Group’s global network.

“By working together with local industry on projects like the sea-freighted melon trial, we hope to build farmer’s confidence in sea freighted logistics and encourage growth in refrigerated container exports,” Mr Walden said.

Growers and exporters are also invited to attend the Paddock to Port tour at Port of Townsville, Tuesday 2 July.