Swissterminal offers ‘virus-free containers’

Swissterminal takes over operation of three French ports

The Swiss terminal operator Swissterminal is offering customers a new container disinfection service, which makes for what it calls ‘virus-free containers’. The introduction of this solution is in direct response to the increased need for hygiene and protection measures against the coronavirus. In addition, the service treats contaminants such as mould as well as neutralises odours.

The spread of the coronavirus via container cargo has been a much discussed topic. In fact, there have been instances where staff unloading containers got infected, and the cargo – frozen food- proved to carry the virus. However, it is not the most likely transmission of contamination”, says the US health agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on its website. “Respiratory droplets can land on surfaces and objects. It is possible that a person gets COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their own mouth, nose, or eyes.”

Significantly reduced risk

The possibility of this transmission is enough for the industry to be warned, and protect its assets. Through the new service, Swissterminal claims to provide containers that “significantly reduce health risks related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as well as other viruses, bacteria, yeasts and fungi”. Cold fogging, the most up-to-date surface disinfecting method, is used to sterilise the containers, it adds.

“The container disinfection process minimises the possibility of coronavirus transmission via smear infection. After the disinfection process is complete, traces of silver remain on the container’s surfaces, which further prevents the reproduction of germs. No flammable or malodourous fumes are released during the process. The disinfectant used in this service can be found on the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health’s (FOHP) product reference list”, the company says.

Top priority

Roman Mayer, Swissterminal CEO, explains: “Enhanced hygiene and protection measures are our top priority right now. With our new disinfection process, we offer customers a safe, efficient way to treat containers and safeguard the cargo inside them. Ultimately, this solution helps limit the spread of the coronavirus amidst the current pandemic situation.”

Swissterminal operates terminal facilities and depots for combined container transport via barge, rail and truck in five locations across Switzerland. In addition to terminal activities, barge and rail transport, trading, storage, maintenance and repair, Swissterminal’s service portfolio includes secure cold chain solutions, customs clearance and warehousing. Since January 2020, the international terminal and logistics company DP World has held a 44% stake in Swissterminal.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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