Australian firm FloatPac has unveiled an innovative new FishPac air freight system for molluscs and crustaceans, designed to overcome mortality, quality and long-distance travel issues associated with polystyrene boxes.
With very low mortality and exceptional product health of the transported species over longer travel times, the firm’s ‘humid’ system builds on the successes of its FishPac bins, with the addition of a humid, oxygen rich atmosphere.
FloatPac Marine biologist Peter Rankin said the design has exceeded even FishPac’s expectations.
“We began with a plan to deliver crustaceans and molluscs in better quality and with lower mortality than any of the options currently in the market. We had a phenomenal starting point, thanks to our existing FishPac system, but discovered that we could improve even further on labour and freight costs by minimising the volume of water but retaining its atmospheric benefits. And so the ‘humid’ system was developed.
“A continuous supply of oxygen is diffused through a shallow pool of water in the base of the FishPac bin, generating a humid, oxygen rich atmosphere. Animals can be packed in baskets or on shelving above the water, and the positive pressure gradient passes the humid oxygen rich atmosphere upwards through the animals and continuously expels the waste gases from the bin through the lid vents.
“All trials so far indicate optimal survival and species health, while the stackable nature of the bin has huge benefits for freight. The next stage for us is to make the whole system fully recyclable, which will reduce the equipment that needs to be returned at the end of each shipment. Then we really will have the complete solution.”
FloatPac has completed successful trials with Southern rock lobster, Tropical lobster and Blacklip abalone over a 48-hour period with zero mortality. In each case, live seafood shippers contributing to the trials have commented on the excellent quality of the animals at their arrival.