Used second hand 20' and 40' refrigerated containers are often consodered ideal for use as storage containers.
Whilst the cost of buying such a container may seem attractive there are many good reasons for considering buying a new container for improved long term economics and user satisfaction.
Used reefers feature standard "T" section floors and normal container doors.
FOR THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THIS IS THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR THEIR USE WE OF COURSE DO OUR VERY BEST TO DELIVER VALUE FOR MONEY.
Used reefer containers are normally sold in "running" condition with valid PTI (Pre Trip Inspection) or as "non-operating" condition.
They are typically 15-20 years old though can be younger and older. Their entire life has normally been in use for international transport and the body has typically been damaged and where essential repaired which results in reduced insulation values. Doors are often subject to heat leakage due to damaged and deformed door gaskets and of course the T-section floor is not the most suitable for storage.
The refrigeration machinery will be just as old as the container and will probably be power inefficient (compared with new technology refrigeration) and there may be issues with regards to reliability. Running condition in the depot before sale is the only guarantee given.
To be considered when buying a used reefer container:
- Insulation value of the container after damages and consider possible door air leakage. Both these items can lead to warm spots in the container.
- Awkward and difficult doors to open and close with low door handles making it even worse. We experience doors are often not 100% closed leading to air leakage and increased power consumption.
- An old and probably tired refrigeration machine with high power consumption and questionable long term reliability especially in areas (or periods) with constantly high ambient temperatures. Read about lower power consumption. Our experiences indicate often using twice as much electricity with used reefer containers than with newer models.
- Possibly unreliable and uneven internal temperature due to warm spots and air/heat leakage.
- Unsuitable T-section floor for wheeled material handling and difficult to keep hygienic/clean.
- Possibly no data logger or self diagnostics through the controller.
- The long term running costs of power and repairs and low residual value.