Maersk Container Industry San Antonio (MCIS) has taken the irreversible decision to close the refrigerated container manufacturing facility in Malvilla, San Antonio, Chile, according to a press release from the company.
The decision was taken due to an oversupply of refrigerated containers in the global market, combined with the difficulty to obtain essential materials locally sourced. The measure was announced on June 14 to all employees, local authorities, central government and clients.
MCIS general manager Ronnie B. Jensen commented that “the decision was necessary, but nevertheless a painful one. We are very sorry for the effect this will have on our employees and their families, many of them have been with us since the beginning.”
The company listed the reasons for shutting down the factory as, first of all, the existance of three manufacturing facilities in China, which makes seven factories in six years and, thus, elevated reefer container production volumes worldwide. Also, 90% of materials had to be imported in Chile, which made the company less competitive by adding transit time of materials, delaying general production and impacting directly on customer satisfaction.
Some 1,200 highly qualified workers were laid off due to the closing of the reefer container factory. “We are committed to our contract obligations and we appreciate the great effort everyone in our team has made during the six-year operation; first by building the factory and later in the production phase,” said Jensen.
All workers will receive due compensation with additional recognition for their work. The company began informing workers, authorities, neighbor companies and clients about the decision on June 14.
MCIS highlighted that the closing of the San Antonio manufacturing facility does not affect in any way other A.P. Moller-Maersk operations in Chile.
MCI announced the construction of the plant in San Antonio in late 2011 and began production for international carriers in 2015.
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