Understanding The Reality of Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Refrigerated container ships are specially designed to transport individual refrigerated container units and are normally located in particular areas of the ship’s cargo hold. Some modern ships are equipped with water cooling systems, and some refrigerated trucks are equipped with backup refrigeration systems to ensure perishable cargo is not spoiled by refrigeration unit failure.

The constant need to improve the refrigerated transport process has always pushed the industry towards the production of energy efficient refrigerated containers. As consumers demanding more food, meat, and pharmaceutical products from different parts of the world, the demand for these refrigeration solutions increased. The global demand for shipments has grown steadily over the last few years. The expansion of world shipping was achieved in the second half of these years through the development, promotion, and use of reefer containers.

Integrated refrigerated container

Most refrigerated transportation is done using an integrated reefer container. These containers are almost always used in 20′ and 40′ metal containers. They have a standard width of 8 feet and a height of 8 feet. These integrated containers are so named because the refrigeration unit is integrated into the shipping container, ensuring that the SCF refrigerated shipping containers are self-contained. These containers comply with ISO standards for transportation and therefore fit into the rails of shipping cells for easy transport. However, this integrated design results in a loss of storage space and payload, as the refrigeration unit takes up some of that space.

Power supply

These refrigeration units are connected to the on-board network during transport for continuous cold chain service to keep the refrigeration unit powered. However, each transport vessel has a maximum capacity for the number of refrigeration units it can supply. If the ship has reached the maximum energy reserve for refrigeration equipment, there are two more options. Most reefer containers are equipped with diesel generators designed to support cold chain requirements during loading and unloading procedures during reloading.


Refrigerated containers have been constantly improved over the last twenty years. Its design and construction are almost perfectly executed today, with the only improvements planned including better energy efficiency, lighter weight (not at the expense of durability), and environmental friendliness. These containers are metal, insulated, and equipped with door seals to provide a controlled interior environment. They include pleated grids at the base of the container to ensure proper air circulation under the stacked merchandise. Additionally, the tops of the containers are marked with height restrictions for the same airflow at the top of the product for maximum control.


Air temperature on both the supply and return sides is measured to ensure proper environmental control. These bins can be placed below or above the deck to your advantage. On deck, the exhaust air is ventilated and dissipated, while below deck, the container is not exposed to solar radiation.