Reefer Services

Service -> Reefer Services ->Reefer Handling and Booking Checklist

The efficiency and effectiveness of reefer containers to perform their purpose in controlling the internal temperature and atmosphere is largely dependent on the pre-loading conditions of cargo and proper packing and stowage to enable the desirable air circulation around and through the cargo inside the container. Improper handling during the reefer loading operation not only affects the performance level of the reefer equipment, but also causes serious damage to both the reefer machine unit and the cargo itself. The following is a reference checklist used for loading operations whilst shipper shall determine the proper approach in consideration of variations in cargo nature / post-harvest practices / cargo packaging / regulations etc: uses cookies to improve the performance of this site and to provide better service to our customers.By visiting this site you agree to the use of cookies as stated in our  Cookie Policy.

Before Loading

  • A (Pre-Trip Inspection) PTI of the reefer container should be done to ensure the equipment is in good operating condition.
  • Pre-cleaning the container to make sure there is no debris on or beneath the T-floor.
  • Check and clean the T-floor to ensure the air channel is clear all the way from the panel to the door and free from debris.
  • Pre-treat products appropriately and pack them with sufficient protection.
  • Pre-cool products to reach the desired carriage temperature range
  • Note: Stuffing hot products may damage both the equipment and cargo!
  • Pre-cooling of container is not recommended. The exception is the case in which the cargo loading is performed at a cold facility with a temperature-conditioned loading bay connected to the container. The container may be pre-cooled to the appropriate loading temperature.

During Loading

  • Do not keep the reefer unit switched-on while the container doors are open, as this could allow condensation and moisture to develop, which in turn could induce cargo mold and decay.
  • Do not store cargo beyond the end of the T-floor, and ensure there is no blockage at the end of the T-floor channel.
  • Do not load above the loading red-line indicated on the container wall, as this will block the return air flow.
  • The total floor surface must be covered to avoid short-circuiting of cold air circulation.
  • Load cargo as quick and efficient as possible.


  • Frozen Cargo Stowage

    • Stowage design is relatively straightforward. As the frozen cargo should have been appropriately pre-cooled to the desired temperature before     loading, air circulation should be aimed at blocking and preventing heat penetrating from outside the container.

    • Ensure proper corner support of cartons or pallets, according to their weight and loading pressure.

    • The entire floor must be evenly loaded and covered.

    • Arrange cargo in a solid block, leaving no space between the packages/cartons to avoid hotspot or short-circuit

    • Stowage must not exceed the red-line to avoid air circulation blockage. The aim is to allow air circulation “around” the entire cargo load.

    • Ventilation and Dehumidification must be set to “Off”. Drain port must be “Closed”. 

    Chilled Cargo Stowage

    • Stowage is designed to allow proper air circulation and flow-through of the entire cargo load so that heat, vapor, CO2, and other gases produced by the respiration process from chilled perishable products can be removed.

    • Proper air passages should be present on the packaging, with particular attention to the size, number, and position of vent holes on cartons, to allow refrigerated air to circulate through all the cargo in the container.

    • Proper packaging (for example, packaging style, package material, and so forth) must be used to support stacking weight and sustainability at various humidity levels.

    • Shrink-wrap, slip-sheet, foam trays, plastic bags, and so forth that block or obstruct air passage should not be used.

    • If cargo cannot cover entire floor, cardboard can be used to cover empty spaces to avoid short circuit of the refrigerated airflow.

    • There must be no stowage above the indicated red line on the container walls to avoid impeding return air flow.

Booking Information Checklist

Customers should provide the following critical shipment information:

  • Specific Origin and Destination.
  • A detailed description of the product(s) being shipped, e.g. commodity, quantity, weight, cubic measurement, and type of packaging (boxed, drums, pallets, hanging carcass, and so forth). 
  • Preferred equipment size (20’ or 40’HC).
  • Preferred temperature set-point (specify in °F or °C).
  • Fresh-air exchange requirements (specify in CFM or CMH).
  • Modified or controlled atmosphere requirements.
  • The date when the product is available at the point of origin and the required delivery date at the destination.
  • Special handling requirements (e.g. dehumidification % level, Cold Treatment, and so forth).
  • If container pre-cooling is required, the booking office should be informed.