Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out everything you need to know about container shipping. If you’ve ever wondered how many banana boxes can you place on top of each other in a 40’ reefer container, you’ll find the answer here. Other topics covered include the dos and don’ts in regards to the stuffing of a container, cargo types, container monitoring, maximum transit times, sustainability and more.

FAQs

  • Can different fruits be mixed in the same container and if so, which fruits?

    Some commodities can be shipped in the same container. Like e.g. apples and pears where the temperature requirements and ventilation settings are identical (or at least close to). The local Seago Line office will assist in cases where shippers want to do "mixed loads". I.e. recommend if GO or NO GO. Seago Line generally recommends not to ship different commodities in the same container.

  • Can I place my own temperature recorders in the reefer container?

    Yes, the shipper can place as many templates as he/she likes inside the reefer. It is the responsibility of the consignee to collect the templates.

  • Can I use the fresh air exchange to reduce the humidity inside the reefer?

    Yes, if ambient temperature is well below set temperature (say more than 5 degree C below), then fresh air exchange is a very adequate way to reduce humidity inside the reefer.

  • Can reefer containers be placed on the railroad?

    Yes they can – provided a genset (generator) is being used to secure power to the reefer at all times.

  • Does freetime include energy/plug-in costs?

    Yes, the free time includes plugging and daily monitoring paid by the shipping line.

  • Does it matter what kind of pallets I use?

    For optimal stowage conditions, pallets should preferably measure: L: 120 cm - W: 100 cm. However, all kind of pallets can be used.
  • How many containers does Seago Line operate?

    Seago Line operates +200,000 reefer units.

  • How am I insured when shipping my reefer cargo?

    Seago Line's liability is stated in its Terms and conditions of carriage as reflected in the Bill of Lading. Seago Line recommends all clients to have their cargo insured by their own underwriters.

  • How do we know if the reefer cargo is ready to carry our cargo?

    When a booking is placed with Seago Line, it is our responsibility to make sure the container is sound, clean and ready for use.

    Seago Line therefore PTI (Pre-Trip inspection) all units, before gated out/released to the client.

  • How do you manage a malfunction on a reefer cargo container?

    All Seago Line vessels carrying reefer containers, have dedicated reefer technicians onboard. If a container is malfunctioning during the transit, the technical staff will, to the extend possible, repair the unit and get it back to optimal operation mode.

  • How fast should I expect the container temperature to decrease after stuffing?

    Supply air: Should be in range (at set point) max. 30 min after the unit has been started.

    Return air: Depending on the cargo temperature at the time of stuffing.

  • How long time can a genset operate on a full tank?

    The genset diesel tank capacity ranges from 150L-455L (39GLS-120GLS), enabling a fully loaded genset to run for nearly 5 full days.

  • How many banana boxes can you place on top of each other in a 40' Reefer container

    It depends on the size of the boxes.

    To reach the red load line (max stowage height), typically 9-10 layers of boxes will fit.

  • How often and by whom is the container being monotored?

    When in Seago Line care, containers are being monitored as follows:

    Normal reefer containers: 1 time per day (as a minimum)

    Special reefer containers: 2 times per day (as a minimum)

    Monitoring is carried out by vessel reefer technicians and operational reefer staff in the port.

    In some terminals and on a number of vessels, remote monitoring tools are installed, allowing 24 hour online monitoring on those containers fitted with remote monitoring modems.

  • Why does Seago Line not accept frozen cargo at -18 degrees Celsius, nut only below -20?

    Seago Line does accept frozen cargo at -18 C.

    However, if clients book at -20 C or lower, there is a better margin, in case of small temperature increases.

    Further, some European countries will call for inspection of cargo, in case the temperature is measured warmer than -18 C on arrival.

  • How will you know if a container is out of temperature range?

    Seago Line monitoring guidelines require daily check and monitoring of all reefer containers. Special reefers will be checked and monitored 2 times per day. The majority of the Seago Line reefer containers are fitted with modems, allowing remote monitoring. Vessels equipped with remote monitoring system (REFCON, GRASP or similar ISO 10368 compliant system) will, on top of the physical check, have 24 hour online connection to the reefers, allowing swift action, should a problem occur.

  • If a reefer is off power, how quickly will the temperature start to increase?

    There is no precise answer to this question.

    The answer is connected with the insulation capability of the reefer. This again depends on the age of the reefer box. The newer box, the better insulation.

    Also, the ambient temperature in which the container is located, will impact to a high degree.

  • If i have space between my pallets, should it be in the middle of the container or on the sides?

    This will depend on the type of cargo you wish to ship.

    Frozen cargo should preferably be block stowed, i.e. no space between the cartons, but surely space between the outer boxes and the container walls, allowing air to circulate around the cargo.

    Chilled cargo (respiring cargo) will typically need airflow through the cargo, i.e. packaging material used, should allow proper airflow. Pallets must also here be stowed adjacent to each other.

  • Is it necessary to have corrugated walls for good temperatures during transit?

    No, flat walls are equally good to maintain temperature. For IQF shipments (Individually Quick Frozen) stuffed as bulk, Seago Line recommends always to have a small space between the container walls and cartons to ensure correct airflow.

  • Is it OK for the shipper to place templates/temperature readers inside the reefer container without notifying the shipping line?

    Yes, the shipper can place as many templates as he/she likes inside the reefer.

    It is the responsibility of the consignee to collect the templates.

  • Is it possible to ship hides and skins?

    Yes, provided the following is applied to:

    - Cured chilled hides are acceptable in reefer containers (both as chilled and frozen)

    - Wet salted hides are only accepted at -10C or below.

  • Should I apply same temperature to cargo shipped under controlled atmosphere as if it was shipped in normal atmosphere (standardreefer container)?

    Yes - in most cases the temperature should be the same.

    However, for bananas Seago Line does recommend a difference on the setting temperature, as this commodity is more sensible to chilling when carried under CA conditions (low O2/elevated CO2)

    Maersk Line temperature recommendations for bananas: Bananas carried under CA: +14 C / Bananas carried in a normal reefer container: +13,3 C -> +13,5 C.

  • Should I check the drains before stuffing?

    Yes, checking the drains should be a part of the standard check before the stuffing is commenced

  • Should I cover the my palletized cargo in the bottom - or both?

    For chilled commodities – Do not cover. Airflow should be able to pass unrestricted up through the cargo.

  • Should I pre-cool my container?

    Pre-cooling of the reefer container itself should not take place unless the temperature in the cold store and in the container is identical and a "Cold Tunnel" is used. A Cold Tunnel is a tight duct between the cold store and the container preventing ambient air from entering. If the container is pre-cooled in an open environment, ambient hot air will meet internal cold air once the doors are opened resulting in condensation on the interior surfaces. Condensed water can drip from the roof of the container and cause stains and frost on the boxes.

  • What are does blue tubes that sometimes see inside the reefer container near the front wall?

    These are Ethylene scrubbers, being used when shipping cargo under controlled atmosphere conditions (where no ventilation is applied and therefore needed to remove the ethylene being produced by the commodity). Ethylene scrubbers should be removed by the consignee – but this is not always happening.

  • What are the DOs and DONTs in regards to the stuffing of a container

  • What are the optimal packaging conditions when shipping in reefer containers? 

    Packaging material must be able to support a stacking height of up to 2.4 metres (7'10"). Packaging material must be able to withstand humidity without collapsing (wax- impregnated/coated cardboard is recommended for high humidity shipments).

    Packaging material should allow the passage of vertical airflow through the commodity.

  • What is the recommended temperature setting per commodity?

  • What cargo do we not carry in reefers and why?

    Cargo, damaging the interior of the container as well as some commodities certified as dangerous cargo, cannot be accepted in our reefer containers. If the shipper is in doubt, the shipper should always contact the local Seago Line agent for advice.

  • What do you consider as frozen and what as chilled? Where is the limit?

    In Seago Line everything shipped at -5.0 C or warmer is considered as chilled. Cargo shipped at -5.1 C or colder is considered to be frozen.

  • What does CBM/H actually mean and compared to %?

    Exchange of air in CBM/H describes the actual amount of fresh air exchange per hour. Seago Line does not accept air exchange in % as this factor is undefined (i.e. % of what). There is no existing conversion table from cbm/h to %.
    Therefore always set ventilation in CBM/H.

  • What is cold treatment?

    Cold Treatment is a special service offered by Seago Line. The purpose of Cold Treatment is to exterminate insects and larvae by maintaining a sufficiently low temperature for a pre-determined period of time. The period of time and temperature required are defined in protocols established by phythosanitary authorities of the importing countries. It is different from country to country whether Cold Treatment is a requirement or not.

  • What is humidity control?

    Humidity control means to reduce the humidity inside the reefer container during transit. Seago Line reefer containers can be set between 65% and 85% of humidity. Seago Line does not accept humidity requirements for chilled perishable cargo. Exceptions: Onions, Potatoes (including table and seed potatoes), Garlic, Ginger, Live Plants.

  • What is Quest II?

    Quest II is our initiative to maintain cargo quality, and at same time reduce CO2 emissions from our reefer containers. It is a software developed to control the refrigeration system on Seago Line’s reefers. Quest II is unique to Maersk. Applying Quest II to all Seago Line existing and new build reefers assist to improve our client's carbon footprint from transportation. It is a simple act with high impact.

  • What is the Controlled Atmosphere curtain used for? Who is responsible for the installation and how is it delivered?

    The curtain is used on Controlled Atmosphere shipments. To secure that no ambient air will enter the container through the door area. The curtain is attached in the door end of the container, in a special designed rail ensuring that the curtain is 100% tight.

    Typically the party responsible for the stuffing will also do the curtain installation. Special agreements can be made in this respect. The Controlled Atmosphere curtain is supplied by the carrier (Seago  Line).

  • What is the energy consumption of a reefer unit per day?

    The average consumption per reefer container (chilled and frozen) is 55 kWh/day.

  • What is the main commodity moved in reefers in the world?

    Bananas are the largest single commodity being moved by reefer containers and conventional reefer vessels (Break Bulk shipping).

  • What is the maximum transit time per commodity?

  • What is the maximum weight I can load in the container?

    The maximum payload is stipulated on the CSC (Container Safety Convention) plate. It can vary within the individual container types. For the newest production of 40'reefer High Cube the maximum payload is 29580 kg/65,220 lb.

  • What is the Voltage of a reefer unit?

    All Seago Line reefer units can be plugged to power supply (380V/50 Hz or 440V/60 Hz).

  • What responsibility does Seago Line have for Cold Treatment?

    - To assure daily (twice) monitoring of the containers and thereby make sure the temperature is maintained in accordance with the CT protocol during transit.

    - If required by the destination authorities, send a log file or copy of the data logger to certify the passing of CT protocol prior to final discharge.

  • What settings should I apply for my cargo, when shipped under Controlled Atmosphere?

    The settings will be different from commodity to commodity: For the most commonly shipped commodities, Seago Line propose the following gas settings:

    Bananas: O2/3% - CO2/5%

    Avocado: O2/4% - CO2/6%

    Asparagus: O2/10% - CO2/10%

  • Why can't I have the ventilation fully open?

    Ventilation is applied to remove gasses produced by the commodity during respiration. E.g. Carbon Dioxide and Ethylene. Opening up the ventilation will likely apply warmer ambient air into the reefer unit. Air which also will needs to be cooled down. Consequently, the opening of the ventilation should be limited and linked to the need for removal of gasses produced by the commodity.

  • Why do I have to cover the container floor?

    Uncovered floor must be covered with cardboard or other material, to optimize the vertical airflow through the commodity and packaging material. Lack of covering up the floor space may generate small “chimneys”, allowing air to bypass the cargo.

  • Why is ice cream set temperature lower that that for other frozen cargo?

    Ice cream is a very sensitive product. Furthermore it is often considered as a high value commodity. In order to avoid crystallization, Seago Line recommends always shipping Ice Cream at -25C or lower. Crystallization may occur if e.g. the temperature is increased from -20C to -16C for a limited period of time.

  • Why is the freetime for reefer container less than that of a dry container?

    We wish to use the reefer containers for reefer shipments, rather than static "reefer warehouses". I.e. we encourage the consignee to take delivery of his cargo. the sooner the better. We limit the number of days equipment is in customer’s premises to ensure a healthy equipment balance. We are committed to reliability, this also includes our ability to provide equipment on time for customers bookings.

  • Why we cant have downloads from the datalogger?

    In case of a claims situation, Seago Line will arrange for download of the data logger. Until the claim has officially been filed, the data logger is property of the Shipping Line.

  • How long time can a genset operate on a full tank?

    The genset diesel tank capacity ranges from 150L-455L (39GLS-120GLS), enabling a fully loaded genset to run for nearly 5 full days.

  • How sustainable are Seago Line’s reefers?

    Seago Line, as part of the Maersk Group,  continues its lead in being the responsible business partner for all of our customers. We are committed to ensuring that we serve our customers with products and services that not only provide the very best customer satisfaction, while at the same time having the lowest environmental impact.

    Seago Line is on average 5-15% more energy efficient (Clean Cargo Working Group data) than our competitors, therefore shipping with Seago Line has a lower carbon footprint than shipping with our competitors. This applies to reefer containers as well as all other container types shipped with Seago Line. For our reefer containers, we have made investments towards innovation of the control systems our reefer containers use, to reduce the energy consumed in order to keep the cargo at the desired temperature (QUEST software).

    Further to this, our reefer boxes are insulated using Cyclopentane foam technology. This material is used in all new build reefer containers; contrary alternatives which may be used by others in the industry. Cyclopentane, when used as a blowing agent for foam insulation, has minimal global warming potential (GWP) and no ozone depletion potential (ODP).

  • Does the freetime include energy/plug-in costs?

    Yes, the free time includes plugging and daily monitoring paid by the shipping line.

  • Is it necessary to have corrugated walls for good temperatures during transit?

    No, flat walls are equally good to maintain temperature. For IQF shipments (Individually Quick Frozen) stuffed as bulk, Seago Line recommends always to have a small space between the container walls and cartons to ensure correct airflow.

  • How do you manage a malfunction on a reefer container?

    All Seago Line vessels carrying reefer containers, have dedicated reefer technicians onboard. If a container is malfunctioning during the transit, the technical staff will, to the extend possible, repair the unit and get it back to optimal operation mode.

  • Is it OK for the shipper to place templates/temperature readers inside the reefer container without notifying the shipping line?

    Yes, the shipper can place as many templates as he/she likes inside the reefer.

    It is the responsibility of the consignee to collect the templates.

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