Reefer Container

With an organization totally dedicated to reefers and a network of experts around the world in over 85 countries, CMA CGM group is a global player in refrigerated transport. Throughout its vessels the Group has over 190,000 reefer plugs available a week on more than 200 container shipping services.
Last 6 months in 2016, the Group transported over 315,000 teus in reefers.
Reefer open

Reefer Fleet

Our containers at your disposal

CMA CGM group owns a large fleet of reefer containers designed to transport perishable goods in a temperature-controlled environment. The fleet comprises 20' and 40', as well as the 33 pallet wide 45' containers.
The technical characteristics of our reefer containers are set out below.

Good control extends shelf-life

CMA CGM group has a wide range of reefer containers and different systems for controlling the atmosphere, the temperature and the humidity, depending on the type of merchandise you wish to transport.

  • Controlling the atmosphere : Modifying the nature of the air in the container (specifically CO2 and O2 levels) significantly slows down the ripening process of fresh produce and lengthens the storage period. We offer a variety of options to achieve this with the EVERFRESH, TRANSFRESH and AFAM + systems.
  • Controlling the temperature : Certain products (ice-cream and fish) require extremely low temperatures of down to -35°C. The technology in our Magnum containers is ideal for this application. A highly accurate process is cold treatment where certain products (mainly fruit) are kept at a low temperature for a predetermined, uninterrupted period to eliminate parasites (insects, etc)..

    Some products, such as tomatoes or potatoes, require changes in temperature during the voyage, which is where the multi-temperatures system comes in. Several temperatures can be programmed in at the start for one voyage.

  • Controlling humidity : Numerous products require a reduced level of humidity, which is why all our reefers are equipped with a system that can lower the humidity by between 55% and 95% as required.

Technical Solutions

  • Cold Treatment : A very precise process using several probes, cold treatment is used for some products (mainly fruit) and is applied directly into the container after packing to eliminate certain parasites. It is achieved by maintaining the goods at a low temperature for a predetermined, uninterrupted period, and avoids having to fumigate or use pesticides. The treatment meets the phytosanitary standards of many countries.
  • MAGNUM : The MAGNUM system is capable of generating extremely low temperatures down to -35°C (notably for ice-cream and frozen fish).
  • AFAM+ : The AFAM+ system accurately controls the level of CO2 in a container and is ideally suited for certain fruits and vegetables such as avocados, grapes and broccoli.
  • TRANSFRESH : The TRANSFRESH system accurately controls CO2 and O2 levels, and is ideally suited to fruits that are very sensitive to increases in gases, such as mangoes and blueberries. It differs from the EVERFRESH system in that it involves an injection of gases at the start of the voyage.
  • EVERFRESH : The EVERFRESH system accurately controls CO2 and O2 levels, and is ideally suited to fruits that are very sensitive to increases in gases, such as mangoes and blueberries. There is no initial injection of gas with this system as it generates the required quantities itself.
  • Very sensitive cargoes : The nature of some products requires extra special precautions during transportation, as is the case with pharmaceutical products. Before packing, each container undergoes a 48-hour test to make sure the refrigeration and warming up phases are functioning properly.
    An extra probe is inserted into the middle of the cargo and plugged directly into the container's data-logger. This allows accurate measurements of the product's temperature to be taken in relation to the ambient temperature of the container. Lastly, a special VSC Monitoring procedure is implemented on board the vessel to compensate for any possible incident.
  • Multi-temperature system : This system allows you to select several temperatures during a voyage for products that call for a variation. For example, some potato varieties require the temperature to be gradually lowered during the voyage to prevent them spoiling, while the tomato needs a gradual rise in temperature if it is to reach maturity on delivery. Up to six different temperatures can be programmed for one voyage.

Continuous monitoring

  • Modem : Every reefer in the CMA CGM group fleet has a modem which means it is in permanent contact with the ship's bridge. If there is any problem, an alarm signal immediately alerts the bridge ensuring a rapid response.
  • GPS/GSM transmitter : Although they are under constant surveillance and their temperature is being monitored several times a day, some cargo categories require special attention, as is the case with pharmaceutical products. With our equipment we are able to fit a GPS/GSM that transmits information 24 hours a day to a control center on land. In this way we can monitor conditions inside the container, as well as tracking its position.

Containers adapted to intermodal

  • Gensets : To guarantee that the "cold chain" remains intact throughout their journey, CMA CGM group reefers need a permanent supply of electricity. On board they are plugged into the vessel's supply and on the quay into that of the terminal. Those going by road (rail or truck) are equipped with portable generators called gensets.
  • Containers 45' and 33 Pallet Wide : CMA CGM group has 300 containers of the 45' Pallet Wide type adapted to multi-modal transportation, allowing the largest number of pallets to be loaded.

Preservation Guide

Guide to optimum storage conditions for merchandise : You will find below a comprehensive but not exhaustive list of the various products transported, as well as the parameters and recommended settings for each: temperature, volume of replacement air, etc.

Produce storage guide

Reefer Procedure

From the booking to the delivery of your cargo
CMA CGM group's reefer experts have drawn up a list of procedures from the moment a container booking is made right through to delivery at its final destination.

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Booking


To place your booking, we request you to provide us the following information :


  • Nature of the merchandise, quantity, weight
  • Place of origin and final destination
  • Type of packaging being used (crate, drum, pallet, etc)
  • Temperature of transport required (specify °C or °F)
  • Specific requirements (multi-temperature, cold treatment, etc.)

You want to place a booking, connect to our eBusiness portal.

The packaging must :

  • Be designed, manufactured and stowed in a way that ensures optimal protection of the goods
  • Be able to withstand repeated handling in diverse and varied environments without damage
  • Be able to withstand the vertical pressures incurred when piling up crates-cartons
  • Allow good air circulation through the container to ensure optimum temperature control

The Pre Trip Inspection

PTI is a detailed inspection of the container and is meticulously carried out by our reefer experts to ensure that the container is :

  • Clean
  • There are no odors
  • The system is in perfect condition

Pre-Cooling Cargo

All refrigerated goods should be pre-cooled to the temperature required during their transport by reefer before being loaded. Reefer containers are designed to maintain this temperature and not to lower it.

To avoid the problems associated with condensation, pre-cooling is only possible if there is a suitable cold store available for packing.

Packing and stowage of the merchandise inside the container are done by the shipper.

Key points to note:
As all Reefer containers are bottom air delivery, the entire floor surface of the reefer must be covered by the cargo. If that is not possible, then material such as cardboard, etc, is used to cover the remainder.

See diagram Airflow

For chilled cargo, the cartons should be stowed in a block, so that there is no space between them or between them and the walls of the container, in a way that the top and bottom vents are aligned allowing a free flow of air through the merchandise. The same recommendations apply to frozen goods to avoid any heat from outside coming into contact with the cargo.

See diagram Stocking

During the journey

CMA CGM group's reefer experts monitor the containers at every stage of the journey to ensure they are functioning correctly:

  • on entering and leaving the container yard
  • when being loaded on to a train or truck
  • when parked in the port terminal
  • during the journey on board ship

Throughout the journey, CMA CGM group personnel regularly monitor the reefer containers using an electronic microprocessor and data-loggers, which record all parameters. Even when the reefer is unplugged, the data-logger continues to record temperatures in the container:

  • Supply air temperature
  • Return air temperature
  • Ambient temperature
  • Cargo temperature (optional)
  • Humidity level

Other actions which could impact on the quality of the merchandise are also monitored and recorded:

  • Modifying the parameters
  • Interventions
  • Breakdowns
  • Alarms
  • Connecting - disconnecting the containers

On delivery

CMA CGM group's reefer experts check the containers' temperature and ensure everything is working properly right up to the moment the goods are delivered to their final destination.

Reefer and Environment

Innovative technology for the benefit of the environment

As part of a proactive policy, the CMA CGM group is committed to developing solutions which combine quality and innovation with protecting the environment.

The Group has closely examined eco-friendly solutions, particularly with regards to energy use and CO2 emissions. It has bought no less than 2,000 reefer containers equipped with low-energy motors which cut fuel consumption by up to three times per voyage, also reducing carbon emissions.

In an ongoing drive to optimize the fleet's environmental performance, the Group has also acquired 3,000 reefer containers equipped with energy use management software. It means the temperature of the goods is being minutely controlled throughout their journey, as a result of which less electricity is consumed. A further 6,000 containers are in the process of being fitted with this software. These latest generation reefer containers are in keeping with CMA CGM group's policy to work towards sustainable development.

The CMA CGM group is also committed to a policy of acquiring new vessels in order to have a fleet which integrates the latest technologies in terms of protecting the environment.