Reefer Containers

Temperature Sensitive Shipment

MFor our customers involved in transporting perishable food items, reefer containers are an important part of the transportation system. This article is designed to provide a bit of insight into reefer containers and how they can be leverage to reduce the cost of shipping many perishable items worldwide.

What is Reefer Container?

Basically, a reefer container is a giant refrigerator designed to move goods that are temperature sensitive. The term “reefer” is a shortened slang term derived from refrigerator.

They are used to ship a plethora of goods including meats, vegetables and fruits. Most reefer containers are of the 20 ft version but they do come in many other sizes as well. Your freight forwarding partner can advise you on availability, costs, and applications. 

When to use a Reefer Container? 

While reefers look very similar to regular ocean going containers, you will notice a different construction design when you open the doors and look inside. The floor of a reefer will be raised with T-shaped decking to ensure good air flow around the entire load of product. Typically, a generator is attached to provide electricity to the compressor unit. Most generators in refers are capable of running off of electricity or fuel in order to operate in different parts of the world. Most reefer units are able to control the temperature from as low as -30C to as high as +30C.

With most items, such as fruits and vegetable, circulation of the air is very important as these types of cargo will give off gases during transit. As a result, how the goods are arranged within the container are critical. Humidity control is especially critical in this situation. It is important that the people loading the goods into this type of container are knowledgeable on the proper placement of goods within the container. 

Reefer Inspection and Maintenance 

reefer thailandIt is critical that the reefer container be inspected before loading. A malfunctioning reefer unit can ruin an entire cargo if it is not in tip top operating condition. Before loading the container should be inspected to make sure it isn’t damaged structurally and is clean. Fans must be checked to ensure adequate air circulation and that refrigerant level within the compressor must be within recommended levels. 

Reefer Container Specifications

Reefer containers due vary a bit in size based on their age, manufacturer and some unique specifications. In general a 20 ft. reefer will weigh about 3000 kg and a 40 ft. unit will weigh slightly less than 5,000 kg empty. Capacity of a 20 ft. unit is approximately 1,000 cubic feet while a 40 ft. unit will be about twice that capacity. Both sizes are able to handle 60,000 pounds of cargo with both models featuring a 7 foot high door opening.

What next?  

The popularity of reefer containers is driving demand within the logistics industry that exceeds the overall growth in demand for shipping containers. Advances in technology are also helping to make the shipping of perishable items more cost effective and efficient than ever before. 

If your needs include refrigerated transportation, the professionals at Eagles Air & Sea are available to help you find the most cost effective strategy to move your refrigerated cargo worldwide. We are available 24/7 either by email at or call our phone +662 790 4599.

Reefer container is available for your shipment