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    Making International Connections
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Perishable Cargo

Perishable Cargo is classed as cargo that is perishable and may decay or spoil because of changes in temperature, altitude, climate, humidity, or other environmental conditions and/or because of expiration.

Cargo which is classed as Perishable

  • Human foodstuffs
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Fresh / frozen meat
  • Fresh / frozen fish
  • Eggs for human consumption
  • Live organs and fresh blood samples for humans
  • Healthcare / pharmaceutical products
  • Plants, flowers, seedlings, tubers, seeds
  • Live sea products such as young fish, underyearlings, life caviar
  • Products for processing such as butter, fat, frozen fruit and vegetables, sausages, canned food, meat products, cheese and curds products
  • Newspapers and journals
  • Animal products such as animal or bird meat, fish and sea products, frozen or smoked, eggs, including incubator eggs, caviar

A Reefer Container (Refrigerated Container)

A reefer container (refrigerated container) is specifically designed for the purpose of transporting temperature sensitive goods. A consistent and uniformed flow of air is produced within the container by chilled air from the floor via vents.

Reefer containers are equipped with an integral refrigeration unit but they still require an external power source, normally from power points on a vessel or a dock side.

When reefer containers are being transported by road, diesel powered generators can be attached to the container in order to power the integral refrigeration unit.

The controlled temperature within a reefer container can range between +25 oC and -25 oC.

There are two modes of temperature control, ‘Frozen Mode’ and ‘Chilled Mode’.

Reefer containers main advantages are to prevent chilled products from ripening too quickly, and to also remove any intrusive odors.

Upon making a booking for a reefer container, the following information has to be submitted to the relevant carrier or agent:

  • The nature and full description of the goods
  • The place of origin and the place of final destination
  • The quantity, weight and dimensions of goods & packaging
  • The type of packaging used (i.e./ crate, drum, pallet)
  • The temperature required for transport (°C or °F)
  • The required Fresh air exchange volume (cf/m or cm/h)
  • Modified atmosphere or controlled atmosphere
  • The date goods will be available from their packing warehouse and the required date of delivery to their end destination
  • An specific or additional requirements (i.e./, multi-temperature, cold treatment)

Pre-Cooling Of The Goods

It is important to ensure that the goods being transported are pre-cooled to the required temperature before being loaded into the reefer container. The main design purpose of a reefer container is to maintain the temperature of the goods, and not to decrease it.

Packaging Advice

The packaging of the goods being shipped should comply with the following guidelines:

  • Provide optimal protection of the goods
  • Strong and secure enough to endure repeated handling in different environments without being prone to damage
  • Strong and secure enough to endure vertical stowage
  • Be able to accept humidity
  • Be able to assist good air circulation throughout the container to guarantee optimum temperature control

Packing And Stowage

It is the sole responsibility of the shipper to load the goods into the reefer container.

Upon loading of the reefer container, the entire floor surface has to be covered by the goods. This is due to the reefer container being ‘bottom air delivery’ units. If the goods cannot cover the entire floor space, then cardboard or other possible materials can be used to complete this process.

Packages containing chilled cargo should be stowed in a block. This ensures no space between the packages or between the packages and the walls of the container. The stowage must be made in such a way that the top and bottom vents are aligned which allows free flowing air through the merchandise.

Packages that contain frozen goods should also be stowed in the same fashion as this prevents heat from entering the container from the outside and coming into contact with the frozen goods.

During The Transportation

Specialised members of staff supervise reefer containers throughout the transportation process to guarantee that they are working correctly:

  • Upon arrival and departure from the container yard
  • Upon being loaded onto a road vehicle chassis or train
  • While located in the port terminal
  • During transportation on vessel

Also during the transportation process, reefer containers are monitored by personnel on a regular basis using items such as ‘electronic micro-processors’ and ‘data loggers’. These items record certain temperatures and levels. When the reefer container is unplugged, the temperatures within the container continue to be recorded by the data logger:

  • Humidity level
  • Return air temperature
  • Ambient temperature
  • Supply air temperature
  • Cargo temperature (optional)

Upon loading at the designated load point, the drivers are responsible for the security of goods and compliance with weight and similar restrictions while the goods are being transported by road.

The seller and/or load point are responsible for providing safe and suitable protective covering and strapping of the cargo within the unit. This protects and stabilises the goods and also prevents any damage caused to the unit while the cargo is being loaded and also while in transit.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the load point to load any items of cargo into the designated unit of transportation. The driver is not insured or allowed to arrange or assist with any aspect of loading whatsoever. The same principal applies for the discharge of cargo at end destination.

Contact us

Visual Media Partnership LLP
1-11 Mersey View
Brighton Le Sands
L22 6QA

Tel No: 0151 281 8178