Guidance for carrying freight in non-operating refrigerated containers (NORs) has been issued by a freight transport insurer and two container industry bodies.
The Guidelines for the Carriage of Cargoes in Non-Operating Reefer Containers informs container hauliers and packers about the caution that has to be taken while using refrigerated containers to transport non-refrigerated goods.
The guidance - issued by the Container Owners Association (COA), the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) and freight transport insurer TT Club - looks at what needs to be considered when deciding on whether to use a reefer, in non-operating mode, to transport dry cargo. This includes the differences in internal dimensions, vulnerable insulation and weight distribution between refrigerated and non-refrigerated containers.
Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen, chairman of CINS and deputy chairman of the COA, said: “There is often insufficient temperature controlled cargo for the return leg of a reefer’s journey and therefore the unit has to be repositioned empty.
“On busy trade lanes, empty reefers are competing for slot space with revenue earning dry cargo, so the NOR solution is attractive. However, care must be taken when loading NOR cargo, to avoid disproportionate costs being incurred in cargo loss and container damage.”