There are certain patterns that must be adhered to during loading, which will ensure the cargo is loaded efficiently and effectively for both refrigeration and transit.
Air Circulation : Air must circulate around the cargo to absorb the small amount of heat that enters the container through the insulated walls, ceiling, and floor. It is imperative that cargo is not loaded above the load limit line on the walls, to ensure air circulation occurs. Air must be allowed to flow between the door and the rear cargo stow, which must not extend beyond the end of the T section floor. Any exposed areas of T section floor must also be covered.
Space (chimneys) must not be left between pallets, or cartons, ensuring air does not short-circuit back to the refrigeration unit. Gaps must be plugged with dunnage material to ensure that the maximum volume of air flows around the door area. Shippers of very small cartons sometimes cover the floor of the container with a form of hardboard that is covered with pinholes. This allows small amounts of air to flow around the cartons. This is beneficial to cargos such as chocolate, especially if the dehumidifier in the refrigeration unit is set at 65%.
Stability and Weight : Cargo stability is important and shippers must ensure the cargo is well braced before closing the container’s doors. Care must be taken when opening containers in case cargo has been displaced, thus creating a safety hazard. Each country has its own maximum load weight regulations, as do the containers. We can advise shippers of the relevant requirements.
Shippers must ensure they take full advantage of the available cube space in a container, re-designing the packaging may improve the utilization of available volume and thus reduced transport costs.
Container Preparation : Pre-trip inspections (PTI) on all our reefer containers prior to loading are mandatory. The procedure involves a physical and technical inspection of each unit to make sure the unit performs as required. Cleaning of the container involves removal of any solid matter, using hot water, detergent wash, and steam as required. The container needs to be dry before being moved to the stuffing point. Shippers must inspect and accept that each container has been supplied clean and odour free.
Pre-Cooling : Pre-cooling of an integral reefer must be avoided if possible. If temperature inside the container is colder than the temperature outside, when the doors are open atmospheric moisture will condense on the internal surfaces. The moisture will be removed once the refrigeration process begins but it will reduce the net refrigeration effect. The only exception to this is when the container is being stuffed directly from cold / chill store and the loading dock / port door is sealed against the ingress of warm moist air.