The world’s leading banana company, Chiquita has been shipping bananas since 1870, when Lorenzo Dow Baker shipped 160 bunches from Jamaica to Jersey City. Since bananas require minimal handling and very specific atmospheric conditions to ripen properly, shipping the fruit was challenging. Fortunately, favorable winds allowed Baker to reach Jersey City in 11 days, resulting in an impressive profit on his investment.
Today, modern technology helps companies overcome some of the many challenges that accompany shipping bananas. In February, Chiquita announced that the company will be adding five full container vessels that will be used to ship bananas from Central America to Europe’s Vlissingen port in the Netherlands. The vessels use ultra-efficient containers equipped with software that is designed to regulate the containers’ compressors and interior atmosphere. The new technology will result in increased efficiency of up to 50 percent, saving 17,000 tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Nearly 150 years after Baker’s first shipment of bananas left Central America, modern shipping technology allows people all over the world to enjoy fresh bananas.