Over the years much effort has been put into offering better transportation facilities for moving perishable items.
It has been done to make sure such products reach their destination as expected in good and usable condition. This has led to the use of reefer containers.
Reefer containers are refrigerated shipping containers. They are used to store perishable items and are temperature-controlled to keep the contents fresh at all times.
These containers have self-cooling systems. This helps them to transport items from one place to another while maintaining the right temperature. This ensures the items do not perish.
The internal temperature of the reefer containers can be adjusted based on the nature of the product.
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How Do Reefer Containers Work?
Regardless of the outside environment, reefer containers can keep the temperature between -35 degree Celsius to +35 degree Celsius, as required. They come with T-shaped deckling under the cargo with channels for air that are designed in a way that the entire shipment gets a proper flow of air.
Apart from keeping the temperature down, reefer containers can also raise the temperature when needed. They have a control unit which can adjust and set different parameters like temperature, ventilation, humidity and atmosphere.
Depending on the cargo that has to be transported the settings may change also. To make the settings work these containers need a continuous supply of electricity. This power can be provided by portable generators (’gensets’) or by the power outlet of the vessel.
Reefer containers are used to transport both perishable and non-perishable products, including:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Medicines and pharmaceuticals
- Dairy products
- Movie set props
The Benefits of Reefer Containers
There are some evident benefits of choosing reefer containers in ship chartering:
They Can Transport Chilled and Frozen Products
One of the features of reefer containers is that they can transport both chilled and frozen items at the same time. The container can be partitioned to suit the needs.
Each partition can be used to separately store items needing different temperatures. This way, businesses can easily store and transport different products at the same time using a single container.
Moderate or Warm Temperature
Items which need warm to moderate temperatures can be easily transported using these containers.
Multi-Mode Transport Facility
Reefer containers can be easily changed into different modes as needed. They can be transported by road, air and sea. Based on the products, they can be set in different modes to preserve products for longer.
Easily Available to Rent
Businesses may need to use reefer containers for a short period. Building them is expensive. They are available for rent. This means they are available without a large outlay.
Reefer containers are durable and strong. They can be easily used on the road, air or sea. They have a well-designed structure that helps to withstand dangerous climatic conditions, strong water currents, and changing weather conditions.
Because they enable the transportation of chilled and frozen items at the same time, they can bring significant savings over cold storage.
Using Reefer Containers – the Do’s & Don’ts
Reefer containers must carry products correctly. It is important to be vigilant when moving cargo that needs cold treatment. In case products do not reach the destination in good condition, they may be rejected on arrival.
- Set the correct temperature for the cargo.
- Set the packing to keep it stable in transit
- Set ventilation settings as needed
- Check dehumidification controls
- If needed, pre-cool the cargo
- Load the cargo up to the end of the T-floor.
- Leave gaps between the door and the pallets.
- Load the cargo above the red line
- Restrict the flow of air
- Pre-cool the container, when the cold storage in the tunnel is air-locked.
It is vital to choose your logistics wisely. For any business in ship chartering, these tips should provide an insight into reefer containers and how to use them effectively.