Airflow management in reefer trailers – It may not seem like something that an average person would think about. Airflow in a refrigerated trailer versus that in a traditional container is not something that an average person would think about. But if you are moving fresh produce or other refrigerated products, it is a very important subject.

There is a huge difference in refrigerated (reefer) trailers and containers. The air flow moves differently in each of these containers, and it makes a difference in how well the cargo is preserved. Poor air flow circulation can cause the product to be partially or entirely ruined before it arrives at its destination.

Airflow Management in Trailers vs. Containers

Airflow in a reefer trailer is pushed in through the top of the trailer and circulated from the back of the trailer to the front. Along the way, the air becomes warmer because of the distance it has to travel before being recycled through the refrigeration unit again. This means that much of the product at the front of the trailer is being held at a warmer temperature than that at the back. This can lead to product loss and contamination.

Airflow in a reefer container is handled much differently. The cold air is pumped into the container from the bottom of the unit. This is done because of the way the floors are made in the container. Known as a “T” floor, the air flows more evenly through the container and remains cooler throughout the recycling process. This results in the product being kept in a more stable and safer temperature environment.

Reefer trailers do not use the T floor in their units because of the additional weight this adds. Trailers are restricted by weight limits, and reefer trailer manufacturers would prefer more space in their trailers than more weight. So, the top airflow system is used.

Diagram of how airflow moves in cold storage containers

Peace of Mind with Containers

If you are concerned with the safety and quality of your cold storage units, you may wish to convert to cold storage or reefer containers instead of using trailers. The containers will protect the product more effectively and reduce overall spoilage.

360 Portables offers two different types of reefer containers. Each container is capable of easily maintaining a temperature of -20 degrees to 70 degrees. This allows companies to transport a wide variety of products using the same containers. Investing in refrigerated containers is a very cost-effective way to transport your product safely while reducing loss.