Chilled to Perfection: The Benefits of Using Refrigerated Shipping Containers


Chilled to Perfection: The Benefits of Using Refrigerated Shipping Containers


As the types of food consumed worldwide become ever more varied, there has been an increasing pressure on businesses to consistently deliver top quality, fresh produce year-round. To meet this consumer demand, the transportation of perishable goods has had to become increasingly efficient and reliable, necessitating the use of refrigerated shipping containers worldwide.

Commonly known as ‘reefer containers’, these specialised containers have revolutionised the way we transport temperature-sensitive cargo, offering a wide range of benefits that extend beyond the preservation of perishable or fresh cargo.

In turn, this means that consumers have access to a wide variety of fresh cargo year-round, regardless of seasonality. Similarly, the ability to transport perishable cargo in reefer containers has led to the diversification of foods available, altering consumers’ eating habits as they can now enjoy a wide range of exotic and out-of-season items that were previously unavailable or very expensive.

The refrigeration technology in reefer shipping containers has also extended the shelf life of cargo with a naturally shorter lifespan. Due to the consistent temperature, humidity, and atmosphere provided by reefer containers, the freshness and quality of the goods are preserved, reducing food waste and enabling the sale of products in distant markets.

For food producers and exporters, market expansion is also possible due to reefer containers. This allows them to expand their customer base both domestically and internationally, increasing their revenue and growth potential.

Reefer cargo shipping has also encouraged the implementation of higher quality and safety standards, which is vital for items like seafood, dairy products, and pharmaceuticals, where maintaining proper storage conditions is essential.
The Advantages of Reefer Containers

Aside from the revolutionisation of the food industry, there are numerous advantages to refrigerated cargo for shipping, including:

Preserving Freshness and Temperature Control

The primary benefit of refrigerated shipping containers is their ability to maintain a consistent temperature range, ensuring the freshness and quality of perishable goods. Reefer containers can maintain specific temperature ranges, typically between -30°C (-22°F) and +30°C (86°F), depending on the cargo's requirements. This precise temperature control ensures that goods arrive at their destination in optimal condition.


Another advantage to refrigerated cargo shipping is that reefer containers can transport a wide variety of temperature-sensitive cargo, including frozen, chilled, and even heated goods. This versatility makes them suitable for a diverse range of industries, from food and medicine to chemicals and electronics.

Global Reach

Reefer containers also enable the extension of supply chains as products can be sourced from more diverse locations. This helps to diversify markets and reduce supply chain risks. Using refrigerated shipping containers, businesses can access new markets and reach consumers in regions that were previously out of reach. For those in agriculture and seafood, this can be a game-changer.


While refrigerated transport comes at a higher cost than traditional dry cargo shipping, it's a cost-effective solution for maintaining product quality and reducing waste. By preserving freshness, reefer shipping containers enable the consumption of fresh produce that might otherwise go to waste due to limited local demand. Despite the additional expenses, the benefits of a longer shelf life are unparalleled.

Environmental Impact

Modern refrigerated shipping containers are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They use advanced insulation and cooling technology, reducing energy consumption and minimising their environmental footprint.



Reefer containers are also equipped with sophisticated monitoring systems. If conditions deviate from the desired range, alarms and alerts are triggered, which helps to ensure the integrity of your fresh cargo while onboard.

Reefer cargo containers aid agricultural exports. As reefer containers enable the successful export of fruits, vegetables, and meat to international markets, nations that rely on this type of trade receive a boost to their foreign exchange earnings.

Similarly, reefer container technology enables countries to diversify their overall export portfolios. This reduces dependence on a limited range of products, and their vulnerability to market fluctuations, while also strengthening their overall economic resilience.

The use of refrigerated shipping containers has also helped create more job opportunities across the transportation, logistics, manufacturing, and maintenance sectors. The demand for skilled workers to handle, monitor, and maintain these containers contributes to employment in related industries.


Here at MSC, we provide high quality reefer cargo shipping solutions, all supported by our global team of reefer specialists. Thanks to our advanced fleet of reefer container ships, we are able to ship refrigerated and frozen goods around the world.

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