Using a refrigerated container (or reefer, as they are known) to ship your goods overseas is a good idea for anything that needs to have a specific and controlled climate. Foodstuffs and even some chemicals or materials need to be kept at a constant cool temperature. This can be difficult on a ship if a container is not a reefer container. Here is an explanation of how these containers work, as well as some tips for shipping refrigerated goods.
The Basics of a Refrigerated Container
A refrigerated shipping container is essentially a large and complex version of the thing you have in your kitchen. They are designed to circulate cool or freezing air throughout the container in order to maintain the temperature of the cargo that is being shipped.
The deck of a reefer container is T-shaped. The shape of the decking allows a constant flow through the container that is capable of maintaining the temperature of all the goods inside. This means that not all containers are created equal, and there is a wrong and right way to pack your reefer container.
Tips for Loading Reefer Containers
So, you have decided that you need a reefer container, filed all the necessary paperwork (if you are shipping foodstuffs) and are ready to load. Hold on there, there are a few important things you should know before loading up.
A reefer container is meant to maintain the temperature of the cargo that is placed into it. This means that if your shipment is not pre-frozen or pre-chilled, the container may not be able to keep up the proper temperatures. Reefer containers can take hours or even days to bring warmer goods back down to temperature, which may cause damage to your cargo. Make sure that your cargo is at the proper temperature before loading.
Another thing to remember is that you need to have specially designed crates. Since the reefer container is going to be circulating the air throughout, you will need to make sure that your boxes are ventilated. Contacting an industrial packing expert like Cratex Group can help you to ensure that your shipment is properly packed before being loaded into the container.
- Do not put any cargo past the end of the T-floor. Doing this will ensure that the cargo beyond the floor is not getting the circulated air and can change temperatures.
- Your container will have a red line along the inside of it. This is the maximum height of the load you should put in. Going above this line can interrupt the airflow and prevent proper cooling.
- Align your cargo containers so that the ventilation holes line up.
- Secure your containers once they are lined up so they won’t shift during shipping. Shifting can cause a misalignment of the vent holes and reduce the effectiveness of the refrigeration unit.
- Plug any gaps between containers or any holes to make sure that proper airflow is maintained.
Trust Cratex Group to help you with your industrial packing needs. Contact us today to get a quote about packing and loading your reefer container shipment.