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Reefer containers: how to buy refrigerated shipping containers

What are reefer containers?

Refrigerated containers – or “reefer containers” as they are often called – are a staple of fast-moving modern business. When it comes to perishable goods, maintaining the cold chain is vital for product quality and safety.

Based in Hamburg harbour, we at MT Container GmbH are the first port of call when it comes to buying or renting refrigerated shipping containers. And we are also the natural choice for advising customers on which cooler container is best suited to their individual needs.

What are reefer containers used for?

If you are shipping foodstuffs or other products with a limited shelf life, you will need cooling containers that are capable of maintaining constant temperatures as low as -25°C. With built-in sensors, they also ensure that humidity levels remain within specific parameters. And they are designed to be stacked and transported easily with forklifts, of course.

In addition, if you need to expand your stationary refrigeration unit – whether temporarily or permanently – a reefer container can be a simple, cost-effective alternative to expensive construction work. In fact, refrigerated containers are found in far more industries than you might imagine.

What are the different types of refrigerated containers?

Reefer containers come in many different sizes and specifications depending on their intended use. Our refrigerated containers range from compact 10- and 40-feet models to 40- and 45-feet high-cube containers for maximum load capacity. A table indicating the exact dimensions can be found here.

We also have a whole host of additional features that we can use to modify our reefer containers to suit your exact needs.

What is the most important thing to consider when buying a reefer container?

Cost-effectiveness is key when choosing a refrigerated container. This means deciding what size reefer container you need, what functions you want it to perform and whether you would like it modified for your individual needs.

Would a basic, stationary model suffice or are you looking for a state-of-the-art shipping reefer container that can be used to transport even the most sensitive products?

What size refrigerated container do I need?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to utilisation of capacity. If the reefer container is too big, you may end up paying for capacity you never use – not to mention wasting valuable storage space to accommodate it. But if it is too small, you may be forced to rent additional units during peak periods. Or, worse still, make do with inferior solutions.

The following table shows the dimensions of our refrigerated containers:

Container type External dimensions



Internal dimensions



Door dimensions/

Door opening







ISO Type


ISO Group-


45 Feet

High Cube

Reefer container

13.716 x 2.550 x 2.896 13.316 x 2.440 x 2.567 2.440 x2.567 83.9 Empty weight: 6.090 Payload 27.910 Total weight 34.000 33 45 R1 45 RT
40 Feet

High Cube

Reefer container

12.192 x 2.438 x 2.896 11.550 x 2.290 x 2.545 2.290 x 2.557 67.5 Empty weight 4.660 Payload 29.340 | Total weight 34.000 23 45 R1 45 RT
40 Feet

Reefer container

12.192 x 2.436 x 2.591 11.577 x 2.294 x 2.110 2.294 x 2.174 59.8 Empty weight 3.900, Payload 28.600 Total weight 32.500 23 45 R1 45 RT
20 Feet

Reefer container

6.058 x 2.438 x 2.591 5.456 x 2.294 x 2.263 2.290 x 2.264 28.4 Empty weight 2.900 Payload 27.600 Total weight 30.480 10 bis 12 22 R1 22 RT
10 Feet

Reefer container

3.050 x 2.438 x 2.591 2.383 x 2.190 x 2.291 2.291 x 2.259 12 Empty weight 2.250 Payload 7.910 Total weight 10.160 kg 5 EUR Paletten 12 R1 12 RT

What temperature ranges are covered?

Our customers often add optional extras to optimise their refrigerated containers. While some have electrical outlets and lighting installed, others opt for strip curtains that keep the temperature constant whenever the interior is opened.

40 Fuß Thermo King Magnum Plus

Can reefer containers be modified to my needs?

Our customers often add optional extras to optimise their refrigerated containers. While some have electrical outlets and lighting installed, others opt for strip curtains that keep the temperature constant whenever the interior is opened.

In what areas are refrigerated containers used?

Our cooling containers can be found across a broad spectrum of industries, where they form a vital link in the process chain. And this might be just what you need to take your operations to the next level. Here are just a few examples to illustrate what a reefer container can do for you.

Food production

For those in the food industry, life before refrigerated containers must be almost impossible to imagine. As well as allowing food producers to transport their goods in perfect condition, reefer containers are a secret weapon for many thriving bakeries, dairies, butchers, breweries and fresh food producers, giving them the flexibility they need to minimise waste and maximise growth.

Event management

If you are an organiser of trade fairs, festivals or any other kind of event, reefer containers are a godsend when it comes to keeping drinks cold and food fresh. And with locking mechanisms to protect against theft overnight, you can rest assured that you will find everything just as you left it the next day.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals

As well as being used for storing temperature-sensitive medicines and chemicals, refrigerated containers are ideal for conducting laboratory tests and long-term studies that require specific temperatures to be maintained – such as those involving bacteria or synthetic substances.

Industrial development and production

Reefer containers are part of the product development process in many branches of industry. Capable of simulating a wide range of temperatures, they are ideal for testing prototypes in mechanical engineering, automotive research and other fields.

But how about your business?

As you will have seen above, our reefer containers often play a vital role in industry and commerce. If you are still unsure about how a refrigerated container can add value to your business or which model is the best fit for your specific needs, please do not hesitate to contact our team, who will be happy to give you all the advice you need.



Worldwide Service

We sell and transport containers worldwide.

Expert Business And Handling

Not only do we offer reefer containers for sale, we also offer repairs and specialised builds.


Always In Stock

At our container depot in Hamburg, we always have over 400 containers for sale.

How can we help you?

+49 40 271 609 09 CONTACT