Refrigerated Shipping Containers: The Ultimate Guide

refrigerator shipping containers

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## Introduction

refrigerator shipping containers

Refrigerated shipping containers, also known as reefers, are an essential solution for businesses that require cold storage. These intermodal containers are designed to maintain a consistent temperature, making them ideal for storing perishable goods like food and flowers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits, types, sizes, maintenance, troubleshooting, and more, to help you make informed decisions about refrigerated containers for your storage needs. refrigerator shipping containers

Benefits of Using Refrigerated Containers for Storage

Refrigerated shipping containers offer several advantages for businesses that require temperature-controlled storage. Let’s explore some of the key benefits:

1. Maintains a Consistent Temperature: One of the primary advantages of refrigerated containers is their ability to maintain a consistent cold temperature. This ensures that stored items are protected from damage caused by fluctuations in temperature. With a refrigerator-like environment, your goods stay fresh and safe.

2. Easy Mobility: Refrigerated shipping containers are designed for easy mobility, allowing you to place them where space is limited or where quick access to your products is crucial. This feature makes them an excellent choice for businesses with multiple locations or limited storage space.

3. Quick Turnaround Times: For businesses with quick turnaround times, refrigerated containers provide a significant advantage. By keeping products cool and safe until they are ready for use, these containers help speed up the process of getting perishable items into the hands of customers. This is particularly beneficial for time-sensitive products.

How Refrigerated Storage Containers Work

Refrigerated storage containers operate by utilizing cold air and well-insulated walls to keep the stored items frozen or chilled. These containers are made of high-quality insulated materials to ensure optimal thermal efficiency.

To maintain the desired temperature, refrigerated containers require three-phase electrical power and can run on either 440 volts or 220 volts with the installation of a transformer. The insulation and ventilation systems within the containers play a crucial role in controlling temperature and humidity levels.

Different Types of Refrigerated Shipping Containers for Storage

There are several types of refrigerated shipping containers available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the three main types:

1. Standard Refrigerator Container: The standard refrigerator container is a cost-effective option suitable for storing food that doesn’t require specialized care or preservation, such as frozen foods. It provides a reliable storage solution for businesses with basic refrigeration needs.

2. Reefer Container: Reefer containers are designed to store perishable items that require a consistent temperature. These containers have well-insulated walls, allowing them to handle temperature fluctuations effectively. Reefer containers are an excellent choice for businesses that need to store food or other perishables.

3. Temperature-Controlled Container: Temperature-controlled containers are specifically designed to cater to items that require extreme temperature ranges or protection from moisture damage. These containers are ideal for storing pharmaceuticals or sensitive electronic parts, where precise temperature control is critical. refrigerator shipping containers

Sizes and Dimensions of Refrigerated Shipping Containers for Storage

Refrigerated shipping containers come in various sizes to accommodate different storage needs. Let’s explore the dimensions of two commonly used sizes:

20ft Refrigerated Shipping Containers

  • Exterior Dimensions:
    • Length: 20 ft
    • Width: 8 ft
    • Height: 8 ft 6 in
  • Interior Dimensions:
    • Length: 17 ft
    • Width: 7 ft 6 in
    • Height: 7 ft 6 in
  • Tare Weight: 6,830 lbs
  • Max Gross Weight: 67,200 lbs
  • Door Opening: 7 ft 2 in (W) x 7 ft 5 in (H)
  • Max Payload: 60,370 lbs
  • Cubic Capacity: Approximately 1,010 cu. ft

A 20ft refrigerated container can hold up to 8 standard pallets when single-stacked.

40ft Refrigerated Shipping Containers

  • Exterior Dimensions:
    • Length: 40 ft
    • Width: 8 ft
    • Height: 9 ft 6 in
  • Interior Dimensions:
    • Length: 37 ft
    • Width: 7 ft 6 in
    • Height: 8 ft 3 in
  • Tare Weight: 10,270 lbs
  • Max Gross Weight: 74,960 lbs
  • Door Opening: 7 ft 6 in (W) x 8 ft 3 in (H)
  • Max Payload: 64,690 lbs
  • Cubic Capacity: Approximately 2,832 cu. ft

A 40ft refrigerated container can hold up to 18 standard pallets when single-stacked.

These dimensions make refrigerated containers suitable for storing a significant quantity of perishable items, such as food and flowers. The size options allow businesses to choose the container that best fits their storage requirements.

Choosing the Right Refrigerated Container for Your Storage Needs

When selecting a refrigerated shipping container, there are several factors to consider:

1. Size: Determine the appropriate size based on your storage needs and available space. Consider the volume and dimensions of the products you plan to store.

2. Temperature Requirements: Assess the average temperature conditions where the container will be stored. Ensure that the container’s temperature range aligns with your storage requirements.

3. Insulation and Ventilation: Check the insulation and ventilation specifications of the container to ensure it matches your environmental conditions. Consider factors such as R30 insulation and proper ventilation for optimal performance.

4. Dimensions and Weight Restrictions: Review the dimensions and weight restrictions of the container to ensure compatibility with your loading equipment and transportation needs.

Once you have considered these factors, you can compare prices and specifications between different containers offered by reputable suppliers like Aztec Container.

Maintaining a Refrigerated Shipping Container for Storage

To ensure the longevity and efficiency of your refrigerated shipping container, proper maintenance is crucial. Here are some essential maintenance practices to follow:

1. Clean and Dry: Regularly clean the interior and exterior of the container. Remove any debris, moisture, or spills to prevent contamination and maintain a hygienic environment.

2. Insulation and Seals: Check the insulation regularly to ensure it is in good condition. Inspect the seals to ensure they are intact and functioning correctly. Damaged insulation or seals can compromise the container’s ability to maintain the desired temperature.

3. Electrical Setup: Verify that the electrical setup is correct and functioning properly. Incorrect electrical connections or faulty components can affect the container’s performance.

By implementing these maintenance practices, you can maximize the lifespan and efficiency of your refrigerated shipping container.

Troubleshooting Refrigerated Shipping Containers for Storage

Although refrigerated shipping containers are designed for reliable performance, issues may arise. Here are some troubleshooting steps to consider:

1. Temperature and Humidity Levels: Check the temperature and humidity levels inside the container. If they are outside the normal ranges, it may indicate a problem with the unit or potential issues such as doors being left open.

2. Ventilation Systems: Ensure that all ventilation systems are working correctly and that no drafts are entering or exiting the container. Malfunctioning components or ventilation systems can impact temperature regulation.

3. Electrical Connections: Test the electrical connections between components inside the container. Ensure they are secure and functioning correctly. Loose connections or faulty wiring can cause issues with the container’s performance.

If troubleshooting steps do not resolve the problem, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from technicians experienced in refrigerated container maintenance and repair.

Buying or Renting Refrigerated Shipping Containers for Storage

Refrigerated shipping containers offer a versatile storage solution for perishable items. Whether you need temporary or long-term storage, you have the option to buy or rent containers based on your specific requirements.

Renting can be a cost-effective choice, particularly if you only need the container for a short duration. Renting also provides access to maintenance and repair services, ensuring that your container remains in optimal condition. If you are in Florida, you can find rental options through Keep It Fresh. For other locations, they can provide referrals.

Purchasing a container offers the benefit of long-term ownership and control over your storage solution. Owning a container can be advantageous for businesses with consistent temperature-controlled storage needs. refrigerator shipping containers

Practical Applications of Reefer Storage Containers

Reefer storage containers are widely used across various industries due to their practicality and versatility. Here are some industries that benefit from refrigerated storage:

1. Food Industry: The food industry heavily relies on refrigerated storage to maintain the quality and safety of perishable food products. From restaurants to grocery stores, refrigerated containers play a vital role in preserving freshness and preventing spoilage.

2. Floral Industry: Flowers require specific temperature and humidity conditions to maintain their freshness and prolong their shelf life. Reefer storage containers provide an ideal environment for storing and transporting flowers, ensuring they stay vibrant and beautiful.

3. Pharmaceutical Industry: Pharmaceuticals often require strict temperature control to maintain their efficacy and prevent degradation. Temperature-controlled containers offer a reliable storage solution for pharmaceutical companies, ensuring the integrity of their products.

4. Biotechnology and Research: Biotechnology and research facilities often require precise temperature control for storing sensitive samples, vaccines, or laboratory reagents. Refrigerated containers provide the necessary conditions to preserve the viability and integrity of these materials.

The practical applications of refrigerated storage containers extend beyond these industries, making them an essential asset for businesses with temperature-sensitive storage needs.

Observing Temperature Inside Reefer Containers

Monitoring the temperature inside a refrigerated shipping container is crucial to ensure that your products remain fresh and safe. Most containers are equipped with a display located outside the container, allowing you to observe the internal temperature.

To maintain the desired temperature, you can utilize a refrigerated shipping container cooling system. These systems are available in various sizes and configurations. Some can be self-installed, while others may require professional installation.

By regularly monitoring and adjusting the temperature inside the container, you can ensure the optimal storage conditions for your perishable items. refrigerator shipping containers


Refrigerated shipping containers offer a reliable and efficient solution for businesses that require temperature-controlled storage. From maintaining consistent temperatures to easy mobility and quick turnaround times, these containers provide numerous benefits. By understanding the different types, sizes, maintenance, and troubleshooting of refrigerated containers, you can make informed decisions about your storage needs.refrigerator shipping containers

Whether you choose to buy or rent a refrigerated container, ensure proper maintenance and observe the temperature inside to optimize the storage conditions for your perishable items. With their practicality and versatility, refrigerated containers have become an indispensable asset across various industries, including food, floral, pharmaceutical, and research.

For the best refrigerated storage solutions, consider reputable suppliers like Aztec Container or Keep It Fresh (Florida) for rentals. Contact them today to explore the options available and find the right refrigerated shipping container for your business needs.