This time of the year elderly refrigerated cargo ships (reefers) which have been in lay-up for the northern hemisphere summer are reactivated to take up trade again.

The Netherlands Reefer and the Hellas Reefer have left the River Fal lay-up berths above King Harry Ferry to go back into service for the southern hemisphere season: Netherlands Reefer is heading towards the Panama Canal to either load bananas or other fruit from Chile.

A drought in South Africa has hit the fruit industry hard with predictions that apple and orange production will be down 20 per cent this year. The European market is the leading destination for South African oranges, accounting for about 36 per cent of total orange exports.