European grower-shippers might soon be air freighting fresh produce to the U.S. with the help of London-based Skycooler, a leasing company specializing in temperature-controlled air cargo containers.
“We are in advance negotiations with some of the major U.S. airlines that offer a cool product for temperature-sensitive goods and frozen products,” said Graham Walters, Skycooler’s sales director.
The company’s leased containers are used primarily to air freight fresh and frozen produce from the United Kingdom to vacation sites in the Caribbean, he said.
Founded in 2006, Skycooler offers long-term leases of dry ice-cooled containers. The leases are at lower rates than those charged for one trip service, Walters said, and make Skycooler’s service a viable option with the benefits of higher margins and extended shelf life.
“The higher lease rates have made the movement of all but the very expensive fruits and vegetables prohibitive for produce shipments,” he said.
To increase customer service in the Caribbean, Skycooler has added two new sales agents in recent months. CEL Aviation Ltd., Mauritius, was appointed June 5 to serve customers in Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte and Reunion Island, Walters said. Earlier this year, Skycooler tabbed Cairo-based Delta Express to represent the company in Egypt.