Banana school, part 12

90 percent of the goods exported from Puerto Bolívar are bananas.

90 percent of the goods exported from Puerto Bolívar are bananas.

The shipping

  • After passing the last quality check, the bananas are loaded onto pallets of 48 boxes, which are loaded onto the ships that will take them to Europe and the United States.
  • The temperature i the refrigerated ships has to be low enough, so the bananas won’t start ripening too early.
  • The boxes can be loaded in three ways: on pallets, in containers or (sometimes) as loose boxes. A ship has room for up to 300 000 boxes.
  • Loading a ship takes 1,5 to 3 days. Most of Asoguabo’s bananas are shipped from Puerto Bolívar in Machala. In that port, around 15 ships per week are loaded, four at a time.
  • The transport to Europe takes 18-21 days, depending on the port of destination.
  • The bananas have to be green when they arrive. Then they’re placed in ripening chambers, where they’re treated with ethylene to ripen. Then they’re transported to the supermarkets around Europe.
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