Reefer container meaning and definition

What is a reefer container?

Basically, the term reefer container is a shortened term for refrigerated container which is used by carriers and other parties within the container industry. Thus, the reefer container meaning is a shipping container that is equipped with a generator which cools the content of the container during shipping and while the container is in storage. This means that the cargo of a reefer container mostly consist of food products like fruit, meat, fish, vegetables and dairy, but also non-food products like flowers and pharmaceuticals. The most used and produced reefer containers are Carrier, Thermoking and Daikin reefers.

How does a reefer container work?

The cooling of a reefer is done by air. The generator, placed on one side of the container, blows air into the container. In most cases the air is blown in through the floor or side of the container. The floor of a reefer container is usually a T-style floor, which means the air can flow through the floor and cool the cargo from the bottom up. After loading, the generator can be set to the right temperature and the container will take care of itself from there on. The internal temperature can be maintained, even if the outside temperature suddenly increases or decreases. While a reefer container is excellent at maintaining the temperature of it’s content, it’s important to remember that a reefer cannot be used to reach the desired temperature. In other words; the cargo of a reefer container has to be brought to the desired temperature before loading.

Reefer container meaning and definition

In addition to cooling by air, some reefers are provided with a cooling system that uses water to cool the cargo. When a reefer container is stored below decks on a cargo vessel, or sometimes even when multiple containers are stacked together in a tight space, the water cooling system is used to ventilate the generated heat outside of the container and even the space it’s being stored. However, because of the high price of a water cooling system, these type of reefer containers are declining in popularity.

A refrigerated container can also be equipped with a genset, which is short for generator set. This genset can be installed as a clip-on genset, which means the genset is mounted on the side of the container and can be more easily removed after delivery or storage. The genset can also be mounted as an underslung generator set, this is when the genset is hung (or mounted) under the container. This is mostly used for trailer transportation, where the genset is mounted on the trailer. This way, only the container has to be swapped and not the whole trailer.

Can a reefer container be modified?

Standard reefer containers are produced by brands liked Carrier and Thermoking. At Alconet Container, we specialize in modifying reefer container to your unique needs and thoughts. For instance, we can customize reefer container with extra doors, windows, lighting, storage racks or insulation. Additionally, we can also alter the appearance of a container by painting it to virtually every color or applying a brand logo. You can view our current offer of reefer containers, or contact us directly.

Looking to buy or rent a reefer?

View our complete offer of both used and new reefers on our website. Are you interested in buying or renting a generator set or reefer unit? You can find these on our website to! Ask for a quote and you will receive one in just two working days. We can also provide international shipping for every container within our offer!

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