Refrigerated shipping container

Moving Refrigerated Container

If you have always wondered as to how temperature-sensitive goods move from one place to another and how logistics actually work, this article is for you.

To begin with, it is important to mention here that REFRIGERATED CONTAINER plays an important role in the entire process. So what is it? Let’s have a look.

What is a Refrigerated Cargo, Anyway?

Refrigerated cargo are perishable food items like fruits, meat, fish, dairy products and vegetables which need to be kept under controlled temperatures while moving from one place to another.

The temperature, which is usually very low, makes sure that the items do not spoil and remain fresh/frozen for a long time. The containers that carry refrigerated cargo are known as reefer containers. The reefer ships are faster than general cargo ships (because they have to deliver their cargo as quickly as possible) and they have large refrigerated spaces on board to hold the products. Some ships are partially reefer as they only have refrigerated spaces near the machinery and not anywhere else.

Moving Refrigerated Cargo in Containers

Reefer Container are the most common type of unit that are used for carrying/moving refrigerated cargo. Every container in has a refrigerated unit attached to it. While transporting the cargo, reefer containers keep the temperature-sensitive products from rotting while in transit on road, rail or sea. At the quay, or on a land site, the reefer relies on external electrical power units even though they do have an integral refrigeration unit. Where external power supply is not available the reefer container uses its generator to run the refrigeration unit.

Each container ship is designed according to the type of cargo it is carrying. The container ships are designed and constructed, in a way that there are power points available onboard which are needed for the Reefer Container to run and control the cooling systems throughout its transportation.

The Process of Moving Refrigerated Cargo

The transport of refrigerated cargo includes various steps and involves several people or sectors who have different roles to ensure that the system runs smoothly. These different roles are listed below.

  • Exporter

The exporter is in charge of packaging and loading the cargo in the containers. The exporter segregates the products according to size, quality, type and quantity (especially when exporting food items). Each of these products is packaged and labelled. The packaging is done according to how perishable the goods are.

Some items are packed in bulk (for example, meat) while some items need an initial individual packaging (for example, apples). Depending upon whether it is domestic trade or international trade, the exporter will use different types of containers. This is because there are several parameters like the convenience of travel, time involved, and coastwise, which affect transport. Also, the customer might want a specific type of container and the exporter will have to send accordingly.

  • Importer

Once the cargo is transported, the importer will be notified and it is the importer’s responsibility to track that shipment (the exporter will keep a track as well). When the shipment reaches the site for unloading, the importer will have to sign and receive the cargo.

The importer is liable for the payment of all services and taxes related to the transport of the imported cargo. The importer or the importing company will have to comply with the regulations that affect reefer containers and the transport of refrigerated cargo, in general.

  • Freight forwarder

When it comes to transportation of refrigerated cargo, the freight forwarder does not actually move the cargo. But, it acts as an intermediary between the company shipping the cargo and the different services involved in the transportation process. These services include trucking, transportation by rail, expedited shipping which is usually done by air freight, as well as ocean shipping (for cargo ships).

While transporting refrigerated cargo, freight forwarder in Sydney usually use a network of services that ensure the temperature is controlled at all times and that the cargo is not affected by dust, water vapour or even external pressure due to mechanical impact.

  • Customs broker

A customs broker is usually employed by the freight forwarder or is affiliated with shipping lines, trade authorities or importers and exporters.

For local delivery, the customs broker arranges the transhipment using a trucking company. Customs broker in Sydney is usually located at airports or harbours from which international trade happens.

  • Shipping company who moves the reefer containers

 The shipping company in charge of transporting the refrigerated cargo from one location to another provides the reefer ships. The best logistics service in Sydney makes sure that the cooling equipment of the reefers are working and will be maintaining the correct temperature inside the containers.

Okay, But what is Freight Forwarding?

A freight forwarding agency organises the transportation of goods for individuals or different companies. As mentioned before, freight forwarders organise a network of services. To do this, they contact different carriers who will help in transporting the refrigerated cargo.

For one shipment, these carriers often decide to use multiple modes of transportation so that less time is required and the freight forwarders coordinate between these, ensuring safe and secure movement.