What Is a Reefer Trailer?

When it comes to transporting temperature-sensitive goods, the reefer trailer is the go-to solution for many industries. Reefer, a short term for refrigerated, refers to the kind of trailer that is equipped with cooling systems to maintain specific temperature levels. 

Below, we explore what a refer trailer is, how it operates, its various applications, and its benefits in freight transportation.


Understanding Refrigerated Trailers

A reefer trailer is a specialized semi-trailer designed for freight transportation that requires temperature control. These trailers have a refrigeration unit, usually powered by small displacement diesel engines, or, less commonly, by a cryogenic cooling system. The refrigeration system keeps the interior of the trailer at the desired temperature, ensuring the integrity and safety of the goods in transport.

The walls, floor, and doors of these trailers have heavy insulation to minimize the heat exchange between the trailer’s interior and the outside environment. This insulation, coupled with the refrigeration unit, ensures that temperature-sensitive goods remain at their required temperatures throughout the journey, regardless of the ambient temperature.


The Operation of Climate-Controlled Trailers

Reefer trailers can maintain temperatures ranging from minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit to plus 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows for the transportation of a wide variety of goods. The operator can set the required temperature based on the type of goods in the cargo.

Once set, the refrigeration unit works continuously to maintain this temperature. It cycles on and off as needed to prevent the temperature from fluctuating.

It’s essential to note that refrigerated trailers do not bring down the temperature of goods already loaded at a higher temperature. Instead, they maintain a pre-set temperature. This means goods should be pre-cooled to the required temperature before loading.

How Do Logistics Companies Use These Trailers?

The use of reefer trailers is prevalent in several industries due to their temperature control capabilities. They are most commonly used in the food industry for transporting perishable goods. This includes goods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and frozen foods. 

Pharmaceuticals, which often require precise temperature controls, are another common cargo for refrigerated trailers. Other industries that use temperature-controlled trailers include fine arts, where the right temperature and humidity levels are necessary to preserve artworks, and the tech industry, for shipping sensitive equipment.


Benefits of Using Refrigerated Trailers

The primary advantage of using climate-controlled trailers is the ability to transport temperature-sensitive goods over long distances while maintaining their quality and safety. They play a vital role in facilitating a global supply chain. This is because they enable he shipping of products from production areas to consumers worldwide.

Additionally, climate-controlled trailers are versatile. They can maintain both freezing and controlled cool temperatures, making them suitable for a wide variety of products. Some refrigerated trailers also have multi-zone temperature control capabilities. These units allow companies to ship different products at their respective required temperatures simultaneously.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, reefer trailers are an essential component in the transportation of temperature-sensitive goods. Their ability to maintain specific temperature ranges makes them invaluable in various industries. Moreover, it ensures the safe and effective delivery of products worldwide.