Features and Uses of Refrigerated Containers
One of the greatest revolutions after shipping containers transformed global cargo movements in the 1960s was the advent of the refrigerated (reefer) shipping container. This meant it became possible to transport food, pharmaceuticals and almost anything requiring temperature control cheaply to almost anywhere in the world!
As with standard shipping containers being transformed into things like houses and shopping malls, there have been a range of new uses for reefers thanks to their portability, price and speed of deployment. You may not want to move fresh lamb to Europe – you could want it kept fresh outside your restaurant’s kitchen without investing in a specially built freezer on site.
What are reefers?
Reefer containers have a special heat-control unit that keeps the temperature inside the container within a set temperature range between -30°C and + 30°C. This is coupled with grooves in the sides, ceiling and floor to allow the air to flow within.
It is insulated to minimise the energy required to maintain the temperature inside even in adverse temperatures outside. In theory you could keep goods at 25°C through a Central Asian winter on a train just as reliably as you can frozen lamb carcasses from thawing in a full blast Aussie heatwave!
The cooling unit is connected to mains electricity supply when on the dock (or in your company’s yard) or a diesel generator/the ship’s power unit when being moved around the world. When in transit those looking after the reefer will keep a close eye on the temperature readings to ensure the goods inside are not spoiled.
Uses for refrigerated containers
Reefers are the reason you can enjoy French cheese in perfect condition at a Sydney deli or, even in the near future, get a COVID-19 jab where the vaccine was made in Belgium. Yes, even some Australian wines are transported in refrigerated containers to international markets that love our exports!
There are more uses than simply using reefers to get goods shipped from A-B. They can be used perfectly well as static units on site. Here are a number of examples where they can be used:
Hospitals for medical supplies or things like vaccines and medicines – even as a morgue
For people and organisations that want to have their goods kept at a safe temperature, a reefer shipping container could well be a cheaper and more effective solution than having a large freezer or fridge built on site. This is because they are in ready-to-go condition and can be dropped on site with minimal preparation – you just install pile foundations if you don’t have a concrete pad to drop it on.
After that you only need a means of powering the reefer container, which could be through the mains grid power supply or with a generator (though this option is generally only good for short term use).
If you need to transport large amounts of food or heat sensitive goods to a destination and ensure that it arrives in good condition, then reefer containers
Hire or buy?
You don’t just have to buy a reefer container! Here at Gateway Container Sales we offer the opportunity to hire or lease them for shorter term use.
This could be tax advantageous for your business but could also represent a significant cost saving over buying one from us for what might only be a short to medium term use. For example you may need added cool room capacity for an online food store during the Christmas peak shopping period that would not be used through the rest of the year.