Everything You Need to Know About Reefer Containers

Once, the only safe way to transport goods to distant countries was by air – a costly option. Reefer containers have vastly reduced costs and boosted exports. Many countries depend on the export of locally grown produce, such as grapes, oranges, dates, and other varieties of fruit to fuel their economies. However, transporting such items by sea can pose challenges.

Several factors could lead to premature ripening or even decay if not carefully controlled throughout each step of the lengthy journey, both on land and at sea. Standard shipping containers are unsuitable for transporting perishable goods because they don’t have the necessary control mechanisms.

One of the main factors that must be controlled is temperature, which, in most cases, needs to be maintained below ambient levels for the duration of the journey. The term “reefer” is derived from “refrigerate”, and most reefer containers for sale are closed units fitted with a refrigeration unit, adjustable thermostat, and electrical power source. These additions transform a basic shipping container into an ideal vessel for transporting temperature-sensitive goods.


Other Beneficial Properties of Reefer Containers

Although the importance of keeping certain goods cool is well established, temperature is not always the only factor that requires monitoring and control. For example, some perishable items consume oxygen, which must be replaced to sustain them. Engineers developed a modified or controlled atmosphere version, usually abbreviated to MA/CA, for this purpose.

There is also an ungraded version of the MA/CA – the automatic fresh air management (AFAM) container. These units employ an array of sensors to monitor oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, adjusting their concentrations to the levels necessary to extend the cargo’s shelf life.

Reefer Containers

The Industries that Buy Reefer Containers

We have already seen the importance of refrigerated shipping containers to fruit farmers, and naturally, they are of equal value to vegetable growers. However, several other industries cannot export their products economically without these specialised containers. For example:

  • Pharmaceutical Companies: Many types of medicine are heat-labile and cannot retain their potency unless kept cool.
  • The Dairy Industry: There is a high demand for French, Dutch, and Italian cheeses, which must also be kept cool to retain their freshness.
  • Flower Growers: Amsterdam is home to the world’s largest flower market. Thanks to reefer containers, their iconic tulips can be shared by flower lovers worldwide.
  • Meat and Poultry Producers: Refrigeration enables mass export of these staple protein sources.


Finding Reefer Containers for Sale

Many leading companies from diverse industries in South Africa choose Absolute Containers when they need to buy reefer containers. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if, like them, you also demand world-class products and professional service.