Shipping containers are amazing. They are one of the single largest facilitators of globalisation and international trade.
By reducing the time taken to load and offload shipping containers and consolidating small units into larger regular-shaped units, shipping containers have significantly increased efficiency in the transport industry. Take a look around your home or office, if there is anything that wasn’t manufactured locally – there’ll probably be dozens – chances are that it found its way to you inside a shipping container.
The variety of goods that can be transported using cargo containers is huge. Containers provide an excellent way to transport cargo such as machines, electronics, furniture, processed food and clothing. But what about perishable goods that are temperature sensitive? Well, shipping containers can be used to transport this kind of cargo too.
Soon after the cargo container was invented, people realised the immense savings they could make by using them to transport goods. There was one big problem though: because of their metallic construction and positioning on the ships deck, temperatures inside shipping containers could rise enough to damage temperature-sensitive cargo. This limited the use of cargo containers to general or dry cargo which meant perishable goods still had to be transported using the older inefficient methods. It didn’t take long before the problem was solved by the introduction of a new kind of cargo container: the reefer.
Also referred to as refrigerated containers, reefers are modified shipping containers made specifically for transporting temperature-sensitive cargo. These containers are made using the same dimensions as ordinary containers so as to make them compatible with normal cargo container handling equipment. Because of the modifications made to them, however, reefers have a smaller capacity as compared to regular containers.
There are two main types of reefer containers:
1. Porthole containers. These are not that different from regular ocean containers. Their main differentiating feature is the addition of insulation which makes maintaining internal temperatures easier. They also have two holes placed on one side of the container: one for letting in cold air and the other for letting out warm air, hence the name. The air pumped into the container is cooled at a central point inside the ship called a reefer plant.
2. Integrated reefers. These are fitted with a cooling system which makes them more self-sufficient. The refrigeration mechanism is fitted at one end of the container in a way that ensures the container retains its original dimensions. This kind of reefer can either be self-powered – when fitted with generator packs – or could be plugged into an outside power source.
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerated_container
Benefits of using shipping containers for refrigerated transport
Because refrigerated shipping containers share their dimensions and other specifications with their regular siblings, users get to enjoy the benefits of containerisation. These include:
1. Minimised risk of damage and pilferage. Shipping containers are known for their robust build, and reefers are no different. This enables them to protect cargo from damage and pilferage during transit.
2. Reduced handling cost. Since cargo container handling equipment is standardised all over the world, your shipment can ride on the already laid infrastructure which will help reduce handling costs.
3. Easy transhipment. Goods In ocean containers can be moved from one mode of transport to the other seamlessly without having to offload and load the cargo inside.
4. Reduced packaging expenses. Since the container acts like an external protective shell, cargo stored inside does not need to be wrapped in elaborate packaging to keep it safe.
Tiger Containers provides both new and used refrigerated shipping containers to help you ship your perishable goods using one of the most effective transportation methods. We provide quality containers at an unbeatable price.