In the world of modern shipping and transportation, the concept of refrigerated containers has revolutionized the way perishable goods are transported across the globe. These containers, also known as reefer containers, play a critical role in ensuring that products like fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products maintain their optimal temperature throughout their journey. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricate details of refrigerated containers, from their design to their usage, highlighting their indispensable role in the logistics industry.
Design and Functionality of Refrigerated Containers
The ingenious design of refrigerated containers integrates refrigeration units seamlessly into the standard ISO container dimensions. This clever integration aligns with the container cell guidelines, allowing efficient stacking and shipping. However, this integration comes at a cost—the internal volume and payload capacity are slightly compromised due to the inclusion of the refrigeration unit.
For maritime transport, these integral units need to be connected to the ship’s power supply. The capacity of the ship’s power system determines the number of refrigerated containers that can be accommodated. In cases where the ship’s power capacity falls short, auxiliary power packs equipped with sizable diesel generators, known as “power packs,” come to the rescue. These power packs adhere to ISO standards and can be used to power refrigerated containers during transport.
Upon arrival at a terminal, the containers are connected to the terminal’s power supply. For road and rail transportation, most integral refrigeration units rely on onboard generators to ensure proper temperature control. The airflow within the container is carefully managed, with warm air being extracted, cooled within the refrigeration unit, and then returned as cold air. To facilitate effective circulation, the container floor is equipped with grids, creating additional space for air movement. Even the corrugated walls of the container aid in maintaining a satisfactory flow of air.
Optimizing Airflow for Temperature Control
Adequate spacing is a key factor in ensuring proper airflow. A minimum of 12 centimeters of clearance at the top of the container allows for optimal vertical airflow. Proper packaging and sensible storage of goods are equally vital to maintain the desired airflow from bottom to top.
Refrigerated units go beyond temperature regulation; they also facilitate controlled air exchange. This feature is particularly crucial when transporting perishable items like fruits, where the removal of metabolic byproducts like CO2 and ethylene is essential for preserving product quality.
Temperature monitoring is an integral part of refrigerated container operations. Air supply and return temperatures are measured, with one of these values being used to regulate the cold air circulation. Temperature data can be captured through various methods, from traditional Partlow recorders to digital data loggers. These records can be analyzed once transferred to a computer.
Strategic Placement of Refrigerated Units
Refrigerated containers can be stowed both above and below deck on ships. Stowing them above deck allows for better dissipation of returned warm air, although it exposes the containers to intense solar radiation, necessitating higher cooling capacities.
Applications and Importance
Refrigerated containers are the lifeline of the cold supply chain. They enable the safe transportation of goods that require constant temperatures, whether above or below freezing. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products find their way into these specialized containers, maintaining their freshness and quality throughout the journey.
High-cube integral units are especially suitable for transporting voluminous yet lightweight goods like flowers and fruits. They dominate the market compared to the traditional porthole containers, due to their efficiency and capacity.
The world of refrigerated containers is a dynamic realm where innovation meets necessity. These containers have transformed the logistics landscape, ensuring that the global market is supplied with fresh produce and perishable goods in pristine condition. From their clever design to their critical role in maintaining the integrity of goods, refrigerated containers are an unsung hero of modern transportation, enabling us to enjoy a variety of products regardless of their place of origin. Whether they sail the seas or journey by land, refrigerated containers stand as a testament to human ingenuity and our ability to overcome challenges through innovative solutions.
Container parameters: 20′ Refrigerated
MAXIMUM LOAD WEIGHT:
Container parameters: 40′ Refrigerated
MAXIMUM LOAD WEIGHT: