What's the Difference Between a Reefer Box and a Fridge Box in Shipping?

What’s the Difference Between a Reefer Box and a Fridge Box in Shipping?

March 4, 2021

Shipping temperature-sensitive goods has been possible for decades, but it’s experienced an explosive rise in popularity lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the advent of online shopping and prescriptions, grocery ordering and more, many industries are seeing an increased need for refrigerated shipping. Both reefer shipping and fridge box shipping accomplish the same goal in North Charleston, SC. However, they use different methods. Here’s an overview of the differences so you can choose the right shipping method for your needs.

Reefer shipping

Reefer shipping boxes don’t have their own dedicated air conditioning equipment. Instead, they’re designed for pre-cooled or frozen products. They keep the goods in the same temperature range as when they were loaded into the box. These can be dedicated refrigerated vehicles, or simply refrigerated boxes.

Reefer boxes can be set to keep things cool from 50 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. They accomplish this by circulating cold air around the freight, using fans under the floor to move the air around evenly.

While reefer shipping is an effective way to transport your temperature-sensitive goods, there are a few drawbacks. First, reefer box and driver supply has decreased recently, while demand has skyrocketed. That means reefer shipping prices have gone up.

Second, reefer shipping isn’t exactly conducive to LTL (less than truckload) shipping. Reefer boxes are designed for large volumes of freight, so if you use them for LTL loads, you may experience problems with efficiency.

Fridge box shipping

Fridge boxes are also refrigerated shipping containers, but they tend to be smaller—they hold about two pallets of product. Unlike reefer boxes, however, they come with their own air conditioning equipment, which keeps your products in the same temperature ranges that reefer shipping can provide. They usually come with a thermostat, coils and blowers to generate and circulate cold air. Fridge boxes use high-quality sealing technology that can keep your products at a specific temperature, plus or minus one degree. They can maintain this temperature for up to five days.

Generally, fridge boxes are better for LTL shipping. The smaller amount of product space means you can ship smaller amounts of goods and take advantage of LTL opportunities. Prescriptions, electronics and other small perishable goods are perfect for fridge boxes.

Which type of shipping should I choose?

The main factor in your decision should be how big of a load you’re shipping. If you’re only shipping a few pallets of goods, fridge box shipping is going to be cheaper and more efficient. It’s also better for items that have to be kept in a very specific temperature range.

However, if you’re shipping a large load, reefer shipping is the way to go. Although prices have gone up in recent years, it’s ultimately more efficient and cost-effective.

Whether you need reefer box shipping or fridge box shipping in North Charleston, SC, All Points Transport can help. Call today to get started with a consultation—we look forward to discussing what we can do for you!

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