Reefer vs. Dry Containers for Transporting Goods

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When it comes to transporting goods, the choice of truck is not just a matter of preference but a crucial decision that can significantly impact the quality and safety of your cargo. Two main types of trucks are commonly used: reefer trucks and dry trucks. Each type has its own set of advantages and uses. By understanding the differences between these two, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs, empowering you to ensure your goods’ safe and efficient transportation.

What is a Reefer Truck?

A reefer truck, short for “refrigerated truck,” has a refrigeration unit to keep the cargo area at a controlled temperature. This type of truck is essential for transporting perishable goods that must stay cold or frozen, such as food, pharmaceuticals, and certain chemicals.

What is a Dry Truck?

On the other hand, a dry truck is a standard truck without any temperature control. It is used to transport goods that do not require refrigeration. These trucks are ideal for electronics, furniture, clothing, and other non-perishable products.


Key Differences:


Temperature Control

The most apparent difference is temperature control. Reefer trucks have built-in refrigeration units that maintain specific temperatures, making them perfect for perishable items. Dry trucks lack this feature and are used for items that do not need temperature regulation.


One of the critical advantages of reefer trucks is their versatility. Unlike dry trucks, they can transport both perishable and non-perishable goods. The ability to adjust the temperature to suit the cargo makes them a flexible option for a wide range of products. Dry trucks, conversely, are limited to goods that do not require temperature control.


Reefer trucks are generally more expensive to buy and operate due to the refrigeration unit. They also consume more fuel because the refrigeration system requires power. Dry trucks are less costly to purchase and run, making them a more economical choice for transporting non-perishable goods.


When to Use Reefer Trucks

Reefer trucks are essential for industries that deal with temperature-sensitive products. Here are some scenarios where you should use a reefer truck:

  • Food and Beverage: Transporting fresh produce, dairy products, meat, seafood, and frozen items.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Moving medicines, vaccines, and other medical supplies must be kept at specific temperatures.
  • Chemicals: Transporting certain chemicals that require stable temperatures to remain effective.

Using a reefer truck ensures these items arrive in perfect condition, preventing spoilage and ensuring safety.


When to Use Dry Trucks

Dry trucks are suitable for transporting a wide range of non-perishable goods. Here are some typical uses:

  • Retail Goods: Transporting clothing, shoes, electronics, and other retail items.
  • Manufacturing: Moving raw materials and finished products that do not require temperature control.
  • Household Goods: Transporting furniture, appliances, and other household items.

For businesses dealing with non-perishable goods, the cost-effectiveness of dry trucks can be a decisive factor. Unlike reefer trucks, there is no need to invest in refrigeration equipment, significantly reducing initial and operational costs. This makes dry trucks a more economical choice for transporting non-perishable goods.


Choosing the Right Truck Manufacturer

Whether you need a reefer truck or a dry truck, choosing a reliable manufacturer is essential. Sub Zero Reefer is a leading manufacturer of refrigerated trucks, offering high-quality, durable, and efficient reefer boxes for all kinds of temperature-controlled applications. Their trucks are designed to maximize carrying capacity while ensuring the cargo remains at the required temperature. They also offer dry freight boxes for transporting non-perishable goods.



Choosing between a reefer truck and a dry truck depends on the type of goods you need to transport. Reefer trucks are essential for perishable items that require temperature control, while dry lorries are perfect for non-perishable goods. Each type of truck has its advantages and specific uses, so consider your cargo’s needs and choose the right truck accordingly. Consider Sub Zero Reefer, a trusted name in the industry for high-quality and reliable refrigerated trucks.

By understanding the differences and benefits of each type of truck, you can make an informed decision that ensures your goods are transported safely and efficiently.