How to Load Cargo on Reefer Trailer Properly?

To transport food from the farm to the table, the most important thing is to maintain the proper temperature during transportation and quickly transport it to the destination. The transport vehicle is a reefer trailer. In addition to transporting frozen foods such as meat or agricultural products, reefer trailers can also transport plants, medicines, and electronic products.

The loading and unloading of reefer trailers are not simple. A good loading method will help prevent temperature changes and reduce the occurrence of decay. This is especially important when freight in different temperature zones needs to be transported.

Things to consider before loading

1. Understand the different needs of the freight

Before transporting goods, you should first understand the proper temperature of the freight. Sometimes you may need to transport different types of freight, and they need different temperature zones to protect the freight. When encountering this situation, first ensure that your refrigerator is equipped with this equipment and you have enough space to place the freight (don’t forget to include their packaging).

agricultural products
agricultural products

Storage temperature is 0℃ to 12℃


Storage temperature is 2℃ to 8℃

poultry meat

Storage temperature is lower than 4℃

2. Have proper airflow

Have proper airflow is very important, especially for reefer trailers. Adding an air chute or T-rail on the floor can help control the airflow under the flat cargo. If the interior of the reefer trailer is a flat floor, the same effect can be achieved by loading the freight on the pallet.

3. Cool the trailer before loading

The most important function of reefer trailers is to maintain the temperature, not to change the temperature. Therefore, before loading the freight, it is necessary to keep the freight at the optimum temperature for easy storage. In addition, the trailer also needs to be cooled to the optimum temperature in advance. This can avoid heat exchange and affect transportation.

4. Trailer capacity

Reefer trailers have various lengths, from 20 feet to 53 feet. But the most common is 53 feet because it can transport more cargo. A 53-foot reefer trailer can usually fit up to 26 pallets that measure 42” x 48”, but it is better to check this before loading.

trailer pallets

Precautions during loading

1. Move fast

Fast loading will ensure that the cargo in the trailer can be kept at the best temperature. If the loading speed is too slow, it may cause the freight to heat up, forming a hot spot in the trailer and affecting other freight.

2. Keep the clearance

In reefer trailers, the most important thing is to maintain airflow, whether it is between the trailer or between the cargo, to maintain a clearance. Generally, loading goods need to follow the following guidelines:

  • Between the sidewall of the reefer trailer and the freight: 1 to 2 inches of space
  • Between the ceiling of the reefer trailer and the freight: at least 9 inches of space
  • Between the back end of the reefer trailer and the freight: at least 4 inches of space
  • Check whether the evaporator outlet is blocked

3. Turn off the refrigeration unit when loading/unloading

If you have pre-cooled before loading and have a clear loading plan that can be loaded quickly, then the refrigeration unit can be turned off during the loading process. This is to prevent the fan of the equipment from sucking hot air into the truck, while also achieving the goal of improving fuel efficiency. It is also best to turn off the refrigeration system upon delivery.

3 thoughts on “How to Load Cargo on Reefer Trailer Properly?”

  1. It was very informative to know that 20 feet to 53 feet is the standard length of refrigerated trailer. My father is planning to open a transport business, because he thinks he can help people with his skills. That being said, we’ll make sure to purchase the best refrigerated trailers in the city.

  2. Due to an increase in events, my uncle’s catering business is expanding, and he is searching for a refrigerated trailer rental to preserve the quality and freshness of his delicious food while it is being transported. His delectable inventions are in high demand, and the only thing needed to keep up with the success is a refrigerated trailer. I’ll inform him that you should be aware of the freight’s ideal temperature before carrying any items. As you mentioned, there are situations when you may need to convey various kinds of freight, and to safeguard the freight, they require different temperature zones.

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