Reefer Control Setting And Loading Steps A reefer container must have specific control settings and loading procedures in order to assure that cargo will survive shipping with full protection of the goods to avoid spoilage. Without proper techniques followed, and depending on the environment, significant loss percentages of cargo will result.
Reefer should meet intermodal transport regulations in terms of size and accommodations for transport by ship, rail and truck and type of refrigeration method. Here's a list of settings requirements and loading procedures to help assure transport will be achieved without incident:
1. Set the refer container temperature for the optimum conditions of the cargo. Most reefer cargo (over 50 percent) consists of fruits and vegetables, and another 40 percent consists of meats and fish. Each type has specific setting and loading requirements. Settings would typically be set either for fresh cargo needing to be chilled, or frozen.
2. Set the ventilation level, that is, the airflow rate through the reefer, rated in CBM (cubic meters) per hour. Air flow is always from the bottom of the reefer to the top. Ventilation for chilled (not frozen) produce must flow around and through packaging. Ventilation for frozen cargo should be closed, that is, just around the cargo.
3. Set the humidity control for optimum conditions depending on cargo.
4. Load the cargo. Cargo type will dictate load methods and restrictions. Cargo should be secured so that, once loaded, it will not move during shipment. Loaded cargo must not violate the maximum redload line, which establishes the maximum height of cargo in the reefer, to allow proper airflow return to the refrigeration unit.
5. Airflow must not be restricted from its proper flow around and through the cargo. This will depend on the type of cargo and whether it is chilled or frozen. However, if there are significant gaps around the cargo, or excessively large chimneys between the cargo, airflow will seek these paths of least resistance and minimize proper airflow where it is needed to maintain proper cargo temperature and humidity.
6. Close and seal the reefer. Prepare appropriate shipping and regulatory documents. If a reefer has been properly loaded and sealed with temperature, humidity and airflow at appropriate set-points, the container should be secure without need to open it at any time through the transport process unless regulatory control requires in-shipment inspection.
A properly loaded and shipped reefer should provide adequate protection and maintenance of goods from beginning to end of the shipping cycle.