Reefer Container Insights and Operations

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Refrigerated containers

The worldwide supply chain depends on specialized units called reefer containers, or refrigerated containers, to transport goods that are sensitive to temperature variations. Perishable goods are guaranteed to stay undamaged throughout transit because of the regulated, cool temperature maintained by these containers.

Importance in the Global Supply Chain:

Reefer containers are essential to the dependability, security, and effectiveness of global supply networks. The following highlights the significance of these factors:

1. Preservation of Perishable Items: 

Reefer containers facilitate the transportation of perishable commodities over long distances by keeping food, medications, and other items fresh and undamaged.

2. Trade on an International Level: 

Reefers make international trade easier by enabling the temperature-controlled transportation of perishable goods.

3. Supply Chain Resilience:

Reefer containers save waste, ensure on-time delivery, and prevent goods from going bad, all of which strengthen the robustness of the supply chain.

4. Utilization in Various Industries: 

Reefer containers are widely utilized in many different industries, such as electronics, healthcare, and agriculture, demonstrating their importance and versatility.

5. Economic Impact: 

The effective use of reefer containers benefits businesses that depend on the safe transportation of goods that are sensitive to temperature, which in turn promotes economic expansion.

Purpose and Functionality of Reefer Containers

Reefer trucks are used in various industries due to the following reasons: 

1. Temperature Control: 

Reefers containers are designed to keep exact temperature control, protecting fragile items from deterioration and damage during transportation.

2. Versatile Applications: 

Their versatility and adaptability are evident in the wide range of sectors they service, ranging from electronics to food and medicine.

3. Accessible Globally: 

International trade and commerce benefit from the ability to transport temperature-sensitive goods across borders thanks to reefer containers.

4. Flexible Operations: 

Because of their operating versatility and ability to move both frozen and chilled goods, they are invaluable for a variety of cargo requirements.

Typical Temperature Range and Cargo Types for Reefer Trucks

1. Sub-zero to Moderate: 

Reefer containers often operate between -30°C and +30°C to handle a wide range of cargo with varying temperature requirements.

2. Frozen Cargo: 

Perishable goods including meat, ice cream, and shellfish must be transported with a system that can maintain temperatures below freezing.

3. Chilled Goods: 

Reefer containers are the finest way to carry chilled commodities like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products since they maintain their perfect temperature throughout the trip.

4. Pharmaceuticals: 

Reefer trucks are used by the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that drugs and vaccines are transported at precise temperatures.

Overview of Operational Mechanisms of Reefer Trucks

As temperature-sensitive goods are transported globally, reefer containers ensure their safety. This is how they work:

A. Refrigeration Mechanism:

Reefer truck’s advanced refrigeration technology enables precise temperature control during transportation.

  • Airflow Management: 

Because it maintains a consistent temperature, the T-shaped decking ensures that cold air moves easily, which is crucial for cargo preservation.

  • Role of Refrigeration Units: 

These devices initiate the refrigeration process by producing cold airflow to preserve the appropriate temperature range of -30°C to +30°C and shield cargo from temperature fluctuations.

B. Power Requirements and Sources:

Power Considerations have a major impact on how well a reefer container’s refrigeration system functions.

  • Generator Functionality:

In the event of a power outage, cool air can be supplied by a reefer that has a generator installed.

  • Onboard Power vs. External Sources:

Reefers can be powered externally or with onboard generators; the latter offer greater independence and are helpful in areas with erratic power supplies.

C. Control Systems and Monitoring:

Modern control technology and ongoing monitoring increase operational efficiency.

  • Processing Units and Data Logging: 

Microprocessors enable precise temperature control, while data loggers record information in real-time, including temperatures and defrost activities.

  • Remote Monitoring and Modem Connectivity: 

Reefer trucks are outfitted with modems and remote monitoring capabilities that provide uninterrupted communication, instantaneous access to conditions, prompt responses, and enhanced operational dependability.

What are the Components of Reefer Containers?

Reefer trucks need essential components to ensure peak performance.

  1. Interior Fans: By more evenly dispersing air, these fans aid in maintaining a constant temperature in the cargo compartment.
  2. Control Units: Acting as the container’s nerve centers, these regulate the humidity, temperature, ventilation, and alarm systems.
  3. Fresh Air Vents: Fresh air vents are crucial to maintaining enough ventilation, which is necessary to reduce cargo spoiling. They permit external air intake and gas expulsion.
  4. Unit Evaporators: By heating or cooling the circulating air, these components control the relative humidity of the air, lowering the quantity of moisture in it.
  5. Condensers: Condensers are essential for air-cooled versions because they strategically direct cooled air to provide the best possible temperature regulation.
  6. Voltage Transformers: They are adaptable and work with a variety of power sources thanks to optional features such as dual voltage transformers, which allow them to run on voltages as low as 200V.

These components, when combined, guarantee the smooth operation of reefer containers and shield perishable items from temperature fluctuations during transit.

What are the Dimensions and Specifications for Reefer Containers?

To ensure the safe transportation of things that are sensitive to temperature, it is essential to acquire knowledge of the specific measurements and requirements that apply to reefer containers.

A. Standard Measurements:

  • 20ft Reefer

  1. Internal Length: 17.9 ft / 5.44 m
  2. Internal Width: 7.5 ft / 2.29 m
  3. Internal Height: 7.5 ft / 2.27 m
  • 40ft Reefer

  1. Internal Length: 37.9 ft / 11.56 m
  2. Internal Width: 7.5 ft / 2.28 m
  3. Internal Height: 7.4 ft / 2.25 m
  • 40 High Cube Reefer

  1. Internal Length: 38.0 ft / 11.59 m
  2. Internal Width: 7.5 ft / 2.285 m
  3. Internal Height: 7.9 ft / 2.40 m

B. Payload Capacity and Cubic Capacity:

  • 20ft Reefer

  1. Tare Weight: 3,080 kg / 6,790 lbs
  2. Payload Capacity: 27,400 kg / 60,417 lbs
  3. Cubic Capacity: 999 cu ft / 28.3 m³
  • 40ft Reefer

  1. Tare Weight: 4,800 kg / 10,584 lbs
  2. Payload Capacity: 27,700 kg / 61,079 lbs
  3. Cubic Capacity: 2,093.3 cu ft / 59.3 m³
  • 40 High Cube Reefer

  1. Tare Weight: 4,600 kg / 9,880 lbs
  2. Payload Capacity: 29,500 kg / 65,036 lbs
  3. Cubic Capacity: 2,366 cu ft / 67.0 m³

Based on these standard dimensions and standards, the shipping and logistics industry can make well-informed selections for 20-, 40-, and 40-foot High Cube Reefer containers.

Proper Stowing Techniques:

It is crucial to make sure that cargo is packed securely before, during, and after transit. It increases the effectiveness of logistics while protecting products from damage and maintaining their quality.

Ventilation and Airflow Considerations:

It’s crucial to monitor the ventilation and airflow to prevent rotting and maintain a steady temperature. Paying close attention to these factors is necessary to keep perishable items fresh.

Requirements for Cargo Stowing

Specialized stowing techniques are needed for a wide range of cargo types to meet the unique requirements of each product during transit. Temperature control and ventilation must be optimized via these techniques.

Pre-cooling Techniques and Their Efficacy:

Reefer container conditions must be kept optimal, and this can only be done with effective pre-cooling techniques. This method increases overall efficiency by reducing unnecessary defrost cycles and ensuring that cargo is loaded at the proper temperature.


In essence, Sub Zero Reefers is essential for safeguarding perishable items during transportation since they use cutting-edge refrigeration and strict controls. They play a crucial role in international trade by bolstering supply chain resilience and safeguarding temperature-sensitive goods during transit. Due to advancements in sustainability and technology, these containers will remain crucial in shaping the dynamics of international trade and logistics.