When investigating how much a refrigerated container costs, it’s important to know you can’t simply load the contents, plug it into an electrical point, and expect to freeze them solid. Refrigerated containers in good working order only maintain frozen cargo while plugged in, so you need to load and offload them as quickly as possible.

More to Consider when Wondering How Much a Refrigerated Container Costs

Purchase or Rent

Your first decision is how long you need the reefer container for. If you just want to make a single shipment then it probably pays you to rent a refrigerated container. It’s obviously more effective to purchase one outright for ongoing use. We can help you determine the breakpoint between these two extremes.

New or Used Container

Used containers are significantly cheaper than new ones because they do take a hammering when transporting by ship, railway, or lowbed. If you are planning on storing frozen food outside your retail outlet you don’t want to dent your brand with a dinged container.

If on the other hand, you are simply delivering the product, then you could save yourself money by purchasing a used refrigerated container from us, and giving it a lick of paint.

Container Size

Refrigerated containers come in various sizes. The larger ones cost more and you pay more for cooling energy too. This is, therefore, an important contributor towards how much a refrigerated container costs.

You could save good money by purchasing a smaller 6-meter one outright, and renting a larger 12–meter one for the odd occasion when you need more capacity.


However, the largest factor contributing to how much a refrigerated container costs is transport, assuming you want to use your reefer for deliveries or move it from site to site. Size once again drives this cost. Size matters, it always does.

Remote Monitoring

Remote monitoring is a service you can buy to track your container, and monitor the state of refrigeration. Finally, be careful of fraud. Reefer containers are expensive. Find a dealer you can trust.

Discover How Much a Refrigerated Container Costs Here

When you have the answers to those questions give Almar a call. We’ll run the numbers quickly. Then we’ll tell you how much your refrigerated container will cost when you rent or purchase it from us.

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Maintaining product at the optimum temperature is essential in the food and medicine industries. Operators know they need to avoid thawing or defrosting at all costs. Or else they have to dispose of their damaged product in accordance with national safety rules.

This discipline applies equally to when the goods are in transit. Handling freezer containers outside the controlled zone must be kept to a bare minimum, and goods must be carefully restacked on arrival. Much value can be lost during handling. Everything may be ruined during a lengthy grid outage.

Hence wise operators back their stainless-steel freezer and chiller rooms with standby petrol and diesel generators. However, their thundering sounds are not conducive to enjoying quiet conversations in upmarket restaurants and hotels. Supermarket chains are coming to the same conclusion: site them elsewhere.

The Solution is Converting Shipping Containers to Freezer Containers

A gleaming stainless-steel chiller room or freezer room is not a stand-alone structure. Refrigeration engineers design them as rooms-within-rooms meaning you first need to build your structure and then install your cooler room.

After that, you are stuck with your location. Although you could theoretically dismantle the insulated panels and reassemble them elsewhere. However, your costs are racking up all the time. Moreover, we have had some chefs tell us the panels never work as well the second time around. They are concerned about residue building up in the joints.

What We Do Instead to Save You Money and Time

We convert 6-metre and 12-metre intermodal shipping containers into freezer containers and cool rooms. After we line them with new, industry-standard ceilings, walls and floors, they can do temperatures as low as -35ºC on 380 volts.

After you apply power and allow the room to cool down, you have a cold room or freezer room as good as any regular one. We can say that with confidence because we use the same insulating materials. Moreover, we have a jump on the rest because our freezer containers are portable.

That’s right! Our converted shipping containers are as good as having freezer rooms and cooler rooms on wheels. One seafood wholesaler loads his portable freezer container directly from trawlers moored alongside wharves.

Then he takes it back to his depot on a flatbed with a lifting crane. That way he has perfect control over his frozen stock at all times!

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In the current uncertain economic climate that we find ourselves in, large-scale investment into commercial cold storage rooms is an unwanted risk. The ability to have an instant cold storage room with zero capital investment is a very inviting option although many would say impossible. However, making use of refrigerated containers (reefer containers) allows for exactly that and more.

10+1 Reasons to use Refrigerated Containers for Cold Storage

Whether you need to stock up on perishable goods for the Christmas rush, or you have had a bumper harvest, here are 11 reasons why refrigerated are your perfect solution:

  1. Instant: Refrigerated containers can be delivered and literally just plugged in to create an instant cold room. The powerful machines can bring the entire 28mᶟ or 66mᶟ down to -25°C within an hour.
  2. Reliable: Reefers are fitted with machinery built to withstand the harshest environments out at sea with limited ability to service them. As such they are designed to run long hours holding constant temperatures.
  3. Accurate: Reefers can be controlled to within one 10th of a degree and so you can be assured of you cargo maintaining the perfect temperature.
  4. Risk-Free: Refrigerated containers can be hired on a daily basis, so there is no long-term commitment needed.
  5. Cost Effective: Because reefers can be rented, there is no need to tie up large amounts of capital to build cold rooms.
  6. Technical Support: Refrigerated containers can be hired with full 24/7 technical support ensuring that if there is a mechanical breakdown, technical support will be close at hand.
  7. Moveable: Reefers are very easy to move and so you have the flexibility of just relocating your cold store should you need to move premises.
  8. Modular: As your business grows, you can just add more reefers as your cold storage need grows. They are essentially like big pieces of Lego!
  9. Versatile: Refrigerated containers can be used for an array of temperature sensitive products. The temperature capabilities range from +25° C to -35°C, so they can handle anything from ice cream and chicken to medical vaccinations and sensitive chemicals.
  10. Secure: Reefers are built to withstand the rugged conditions of international marine transport and they can be secured by multiple locks to ensure the safety of your cargo.
  11. Efficient: Reefer machinery is built with ultra-efficient scroll compressor technology, making them extremely efficient with very low power consumption.

Who can use refrigerated containers?

Because of the reefers flexibility, they are used across various industries and in many different applications. They are regularly used by retailers especially over the Christmas season as a short-term stopgap for storage of extra food stores such as chicken and fish.

They are also regularly used for longer periods for holding medical vaccines and samples because of the incredibly accurate temperature controls that they offer.

20ft Reefer containers offer a smaller footprint and are used regularly by small outlets and restaurants for overflow cold storage for beverages and food. They are also the perfect solution for events where additional short-term cold rooms are needed few a few days.

40ft Reefer containers offer a larger capacity and are regularly used by farmers for excess harvest storage as well as chemical suppliers looking for long-term storage of very temperature sensitive products.

What Size are Refrigerated Containers?

Refrigerated containers come in two main sizes, 6m containers (20ft) and 12m containers. The 20ft containers have a cubic capacity of 28mᶟ and the 40ft containers 66mᶟ.

They both have an external width of 2.4m.

Where Can you Hire Refrigerated Containers?

Almar Containers have reefers in various parts of the world including Dammam, Dubai, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam ready and available for immediate hire!

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