New Zealand Apples – An 8,000 Mile Journey

February 12th, 2010 | melody | Comments Off on New Zealand Apples – An 8,000 Mile Journey

It’s day four in New Zealand, and we’re traveling to the Port of Napier, which is very close to Hawkes Bay, and where all of our apples depart to make their 8,000 mile journey by sea to our continent! This port ships 170,000 containers of apples, beef, and timber, out of a total of 2 million containers that are shipped annually from all of New Zealand.

8,000 miles seems like a pretty hearty distance, and initially it’s easy to think in terms of what a giant carbon footprint this must leave. But here’s the interesting data. Modern cargo ships are a very effecient method for moving product. These huge cargo ship diesel engines convert over 50% of the energy in the fuel to propulsive energy fed to the propeller. The very best a truck or car engine can do is 12% conversion to the wheels. Lincoln University recently published a report that shows that products shipped using refrigeration actually involve a smaller carbon footprint than unrefrigerated shipping. And, of course, all of our New Zealand apples are shipped via refrigerated units.