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Everything You Need To Know About Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Many people around the world have been using refrigerated shipping containers since the 1960s. They keep the internal environment cool and dry, protecting customers’ products while they are being transported long distances. 

Refrigeration technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So before you begin searching for your next refrigerated container, read through these tips on how refrigerated containers work and what to look for when choosing one.

What is a refrigerated container (or reefer)? 

Refrigerated shipping containers, also called reefers, are used for the transport and storage of perishable goods. They come in 10-foot, 20-foot and 40-foot sizes, and are equipped with refrigeration units to keep the temperature inside at a constant level.

From small independent grocery stores and supermarkets, to large pharmaceutical companies, refrigerated containers are useful to anyone that needs to keep their products or materials fresh and protected. Reefers come in many sizes and can be used to ship your valuable cargo anywhere in the world.

Benefits of using refrigerated shipping containers

There are many benefits of using our refrigerated shipping containers:

  • They come in a range of sizes so you can easily find a reefer that suits your storage needs. See our 20’ refrigerated, 21’ high cube, 22’ high cube and 40’ refrigerated containers for sale or hire.
  • They are built for durability. Reefer containers are well-insulated and built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions. 
  • They are incredibly easy to use. Reefers are self-contained units that require little maintenance. They also come with their own power supplies so you don’t have to worry about running out of power or having to pay extra for electricity.
  • They are easy to monitor. Our team can install temperature monitoring devices that allow you to know whether your goods are staying cool at all times. You can track this via access to our website and also get SMS notifications.
  • They are an excellent choice for those who need short-term or long-term refrigerated storage. There is no need for you to rent or buy your own refrigerated warehouse for your refrigerated goods.
  • They are cost effective. Permanent cold storage facilities are quite expensive. If you want to store food or other products in cold storage, then the costs are probably going to be prohibitively high. And it isn’t just the cost of construction: permanent cold storage facilities aren’t necessarily located near where your product is going. This means that you have to go through the trouble of organising transportation for your cargo. You could end up spending even more money than you would if you were using a reefer.

At 1300Sparebox, we strive to provide quality by ensuring that our refrigerated containers are compliant with Australian standards. Whether you’re after a refrigerated container for sale or for hire, we make sure you get the best price without compromising on quality. Explore our refrigerated container options here. 

How do refrigerated shipping containers work?  

All our refrigerated shipping containers work on 3 phase power. As the refrigeration unit runs, cold air is drawn from the bottom of the container through a T-shaped duct. Through both the porthole and integrated refrigerated containers, cold air is pumped at the bottom of the unit circulating over and through the items before exiting the container through another opening at the top of the unit back to the refrigeration system.

The inner lining of refrigerated containers is made of aluminium. They have a thick layer of foam insulation sandwiched between the inner aluminium lining and outer steel walls. This helps keep the container cool, while preventing condensation and corrosion.

Types of cargo that can be shipped in refrigerated shipping containers

  • Chilled goods: The temperatures maintained for these types of cargo range between 0°C and +15°C and can include seafood, dairy, eggs, vegetables, fresh fruit, flowers, plants and confectionery.
  • Frozen goods: These goods include fish and other types of meat (beef, mutton, pork and poultry). Items like these need to be stored and transported at temperatures of -20°C and below.
  • Miscellaneous goods: The category for this type of cargo includes pharmaceutical products and hazardous materials. 

Factors to consider when hiring or purchasing a refrigerated shipping container

There are a number of things to consider when buying or hiring a refrigerated sea container. Here are a few of them:

1. The type of refrigerated shipping container you will need depends on what you are going to store in it

If you are transporting frozen goods, for example, then you will need a freezer container with a high-grade insulation and refrigeration unit that is capable of maintaining low temperatures. On the other hand, if you are storing food products that have already been cooked or prepared, then you will need a fridge container that can maintain lower temperatures than those needed for frozen products.

2. It is important to take into consideration the cargo capacity of your refrigerated shipping container

If you’re looking for one for domestic use, then it is likely that you don’t need one with the same dimensions as those used for international transport. However, if your business depends on importing or exporting goods by sea then depending on your requirements, you might find that you require a larger refrigerated shipping container. All our containers come in a high cube option, offering ample space for large shipments as well as flexible loading options. 

3. Consider is whether you intend to transport your cargo long distances over land or by sea

If you intend to transport your cargo long distances, then you probably want to make sure that your refrigerated shipping container is designed for this purpose. For example, many containers that are used for transporting refrigerated goods over long distances are made from stainless steel so they can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions such as strong winds and torrential rains.

We are refrigerated and cool room container specialists

Working with us is easy because we care about your needs. When it comes to refrigerated shipping containers, we do this all day every day to ensure all our containers are fit for purpose. Some of our additional benefits include:

  • Our qualified refrigerated on-call mechanics come with the industry knowledge of being able to service shipping containers that require refrigerated repairs. 
  • We stock a range of new and used refrigerated shipping containers that can be modified and customised according to your specific needs.
  • We monitor every touch point to ensure we meet a high standard and provide a quality finish for every shipping container.
  • All our customers get a one-on-one service experience with a team of dedicated container industry specialists.
  • With a combined  30 years’ in industry experience, we are recognised as one of the leading suppliers and hirers of reefer containers in Australia and New Zealand.