JAPAN’S Ocean Network Express has collaborated with two compatriot companies to inaugurate the world’s first dual-temperature refrigerated container trial equipped with Controlled Atmosphere (CA) functions.

In conjunction with domestic and international retailer Pan Pacific International Holdings and freight forwarder NAX Japan ONE will transport various types of perishable goods and fruits from Japan to overseas stores of Don Quijote, the largest Japanese discount store chain operated by PPIH.

In addition to transporting two different temperature zone commodities, the container also has CA functions, which prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It will also create a more efficient way to transport cargoes in small quantities and reduce inventory risks, ultimately reducing cost, carbon dioxide emissions and food loss, ONE says.

A foldable partition is installed in the middle of a container to accommodate different temperature zones. The room adjacent to the reefer unit supports both chilled and frozen temperatures, maintaining cargo from -30°C to +30°C, similar to a standard refrigerated container.

In the other compartment of the container, a thermal fan sends cold air through the ceiling to maintain cargo between -5°C and +30°C. Depending on a customer’s requirements, the position of the partition can be adjusted, and the partition can also be stored in the ceiling when it is not in use, turning it into a stand refrigerated container.

By using the dual-temperature refrigerated CA container, ONE, PPIH, and NAX Japan believe improved container loading efficiency will result from transporting smaller quantities of a more diverse range of perishable commodities in a single container.

The manufacturing of the dual-temperature refrigerated container and trial shipments are supported by a subsidy project conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Japan in the Fiscal Year of 2022.