Special refrigerated containers, commonly called reefers, can control temperatures, allowing everything from meat, fruit, vegetables and dairy products, to chemicals and pharmaceuticals to travel across the world.
Cryogenics may sound like a science of the future but reefer containers get pretty close today. Special super-freeze reefers can keep goods frozen at temperatures as low as -60 degrees C. But other reefers can preserve goods at warmer temperatures if that is necessary. De-humidification systems are able to ensure optimal humidity inside reefer containers. Some reefers also allow the atmosphere in the container to be controlled so for example, bananas can be shipped between continents without turning brown. Even fresh flowers can remain fresh in reefer containers while they are travelling many miles over several days. It is because of reefer containers, that grocery stores are able to stock and sell all kinds of fresh produce all year round.
Reefer containers generally come in 20 foot and 40 foot lengths, with the same general dimensions as that of dry cargo containers of the same size. However, there is slightly less cargo space available inside the reefer container due to the space taken up by the refrigeration unit and ventilation equipment.