Reefer container maintenance and inspection: Here’s what you should know

Reefer container maintenance and inspection: Here’s what you should know

April 13, 2022

Reefer container maintenance and inspection: Here’s what you should know

November 29, 2023
Reefer container maintenance and inspection: Here’s what you should know

A refrigerated or ‘reefer’ container is a fantastic asset for any business or homeowner looking to store goods in a temperature-controlled environment.

However, in order to perform the way they were intended, reefers need timely maintenance and inspection. Here’s what you need to know:

How to go about reefer maintenance and inspection

Before anything else, let’s quickly touch upon the importance of regular reefer container maintenance and inspection.

Maintenance may be preventive or corrective. The former refers to carrying out planned maintenance to prevent your reefer container from potential future failures. This may be anything from replacing defective parts to cleaning the container and monitoring its cooling system.

The latter refers to dealing with problems which have already occurred and remedying them in a timely manner. Corrective maintenance is almost always more expensive and may also take more time to resolve.

This is where the timely maintenance and inspection of reefer containers come in – it practically guarantees smooth, hassle-free operation throughout the year, where you can also protect yourself from some potentially expensive repairs down the line.

Many factors may impact the efficiency of your reefer container, including:


Highly humid levels can lead to corrosion which, in turn, can damage the electronic components of your reefer’s cooling system.

Changes in temperature

Extreme temperature shifts can disrupt the cooling system’s efficiency, potentially compromising its ability to preserve the contents.

Electrical system failures

Electrical system issues may disrupt the cooling system’s functionality, where major component malfunctions can render your reefer almost completely useless.

Impacts or collisions

Any bumps, shocks, or collisions during transit may lead to structural cracks, which can affect your reefer’s insulation capabilities, and that can cause a reduction in its energy efficiency as well.

Don’t wait for “bad stuff” to happen – Schedule timely maintenance & inspection!

With timely maintenance and inspection of your reefer, you can ensure that it functions optimally and, more importantly, the cargo or goods being transported remain fresh.

Regular inspections, for example, are downright essential to detect problems early on. These may include electrical system issues, panel damage, or leaking refrigerant. We would advise performing an inspection both before and after each trip in order to narrow down any issues which may affect the quality of the goods inside.

It’s also important to keep your reefer container cleaned and disinfected regularly, as this will prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from spreading, which may otherwise compromise the quality of the cargo. Again, cleaning and disinfection of your reefer after use and prior to loading new goods is optimal.

A reefer’s panel plays a very important role in maintaining the correct temperature inside. Regular inspections of the panel, therefore, ensure that your reefer can continue to maintain the right temperature throughout the journey, no matter what the distance or environmental conditions.

Your reefer container’s electrical systems are also crucial for maintaining the correct interior temperature. This means regular inspection of the compressor and fans to ensure optimal function.

Willbox offers a range of reefer containers to meet your needs, with timely maintenance and inspection plans included: 0800 023 5060.

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Willbox, part of the Williams Shipping Group, has over 25 years’ experience in container hire and new and used shipping container sales. We can supply containers to meet any need, including site accommodation, storage, and bespoke containers modified to your requirements, and our consultancy service is here to help you make the best choice.

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