Atmosphere Management

APL SMARTreefers maintain total control over the quality and composition of air that the cargo is exposed to during shipment

Fruits and vegetables consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide even after being harvested. These processes change product flavor, quality, color, texture and water content and can be highly detrimental to shelf-life. By controlling oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene levels, our optimal atmosphere management systems enhance the benefits of refrigeration by further slowing down produce respiration and ripening rates to maximize cargo value on delivery.

CMA CGM, our mother brand, offers CLIMACTIVE controlled atmosphere, a similar solution for your perishable cargo.

Controlled Atmosphere


Ripening put on hold. Instantly.

SMARTcare+ is the most technologically advanced controlled atmosphere (CA) process available to extend shelf-life significantly.

By manipulating ripening rates through nitrogen flushing at the start, APL’s SMARTcare+ system can triple the post-harvest life of some perishables compared to conventional methods, opening up new markets for cargo shipped as ocean freight. Our SMARTcare+ refrigerated container system prolongs produce shelf-life by accurately monitoring and adjusting the balance between oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.



  • Technologically advanced computer systems are used to precisely monitor and actively control the atmosphere in the container
  • Atmospheric conditions are tailored to provide the optimal environment
  • Changes in the atmospheric composition are recorded during a container’s journey for use in quality control and analysis


  • Prolongs post-harvest life by up to three times more than other conventional methods
  • Slows down the deterioration of appearance, texture, flavor and nutritional quality of the produce
  • Alleviates certain physiological disorders including chilling injuries
  • Maintains freshness of the commodities during longer voyages. This makes ocean transport a viable alternative to expensive airfreight for many products
  • Provides insect control to help meet the quarantine requirements of importing countries

Examples of products that benefit from SMARTcare+

longer smartcareSMARTcare

Regulated Atmosphere


In-transit ripening delayed through atmosphere management.

SMARTcare is a precise atmosphere management solution that utilizes cargo respiration to achieve oxygen set point.

SMARTcare employs a commodity-generated atmosphere technology that relies on product respiration to manage the air composition that the cargo is exposed to. Optimum atmosphere is then regulated accurately using scrubbers or membrane technology to maintain CO2 levels and remove ethylene. APL's SMARTcare solution is generally used on commodities that require atmosphere management to prolong freshness but do not need a full controlled atmosphere application.



  • Utilizes cargo respiration to achieve oxygen set point
  • Maintains atmosphere set point once target oxygen level is reached
  • Maintains carbon dioxide by using controlled absorption rate scrubbers with permeable membranes
  • Removes ethylene


  • Provides more precise atmosphere management than other commodity-generated atmosphere systems (such as modified atmosphere bags or auto vent systems)
  • Cost effective alternative to using SMARTcare+ for container atmosphere management

Examples of products that benefit from SMARTcare

Regulated atmosphere fruitsveg

  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Lettuce


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