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How to Make a Freezer Shipping Container?

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

It’s been decades since the introduction of shipping containers into the world of transportation, and their highly efficient nature has caused them to take over and become the only standard of transportation all around the globe. Soon after their introduction, vehicles and other vessels were designed to accommodate them, and when it came to perishable goods, shipping container freezers, also known as reefers, were introduced to the market.

Shipping container freezers are vital parts of the international supply chain.

No food, medicine, or any other type of perishable would make it to its destination if it’s more than a few kilometers away without shipping container freezers. They are tried and proved parts of the international transportation system, but that doesn’t mean they can only be used as mobile units. Many people and businesses use them as stationary refrigerated storage units.

How to Make a Freezer Shipping Container?

(h2)How are Shipping Container Freezers Made?

Shipping container freezers are built in factories such as ours, Green Box Containers. They are made using normal shipping containers, which go through a modification process and become freezer containers. Although there are standards which are the same for building every shipping container freezer, there are also many things which vary based on the requirements of the owner of the reefer. Things such as size, interior settings such as shelves or partitions, internal or external power supply, and the looks of the container are decided by its owner and their specific requirements.

Here are a few things we take into account and steps we take while building shipping container freezers according to our clients’ needs.


Originally, shipping containers come in a few different sizes. The two most common sizes of shipping containers are 20ft and 40ft containers, which have their own variations, differing mostly in height. But while receiving an order for a shipping container freezer, we do not limit our clients only to those sizes. These standard dimensions, although practical and useful, especially when it comes to transportation, might not fit everyone’s requirements. For those specific cases, we are prepared to cut shipping containers to make much smaller freezers, or attach them together to create much bigger ones.

In general, size is one of the most important reasons to order custom-made shipping container freezers, as opposed to just purchasing ready-made ones.


Any refrigerator or freezer, regardless of shape, size, or specific functionality, requires proper and thorough insulation. During the process of modifying a normal shipping container and turning it into a freezer, insulating it is one of the most important phases, if not the most important.

How to Make a Freezer Shipping Container?

-Unmodified shipping containers are not built to trap in heat. Not only there are many small holes and cracks between parts and especially doors through which airflow can move freely, the entire container is made of metal, which does a very poor job of insulating. Through the modification process, we cover every bit of walls and doors with proper insulation, and test them multiple times to make sure everything is in order, and no airflow is taking place inside the shipping container freezer without us dictating it.

Freezer/Refrigerator Mechanisms

After insulation is taken care of, it’s time to introduce the cooling mechanism into the reefer’s system. The strength of the cooling system depends very much on the size of the shipping container freezer, the larger it is it requires a bigger and stronger cooling system. It is important to know that the cooling system works hand in hand with the airflow system, which is our next focal point.

Airflow System

A proper cooling system depends on proper air circulation. Even the small refrigerators we have in our households have air circulation systems installed in them, at least the modern ones do. But a shipping container freezer is far larger than our domestic refrigerators, and it absolutely requires proper air circulation mechanisms.

The importance of air circulation in shipping container freezers is so much that there are protocols dictating how a shipping container freezer must be loaded in order for air to be properly circulated within them. While loading them, measures must be taken to make sure that no hot air pockets are trapped within the cargo.

How to Make a Freezer Shipping Container?

Powering Units

Some stationary shipping container freezers do not require internal power sources. Their owners place orders for them to be built with everything except power sources, since they are certain that external power sources will be available at all times. In case of shipping containers which are mobile and are built to carry perishables around, especially during long periods of transportation, an internal power source is absolutely necessary.

On cargo ships, there are usually means to power up the reefers, but that doesn’t mean that those reefers do not require their own power sources. During transitions between vessels and ports, and while changing means of transportation, internal power sources must be used to make sure that the temperature inside shipping container freezers remains the same at all times.


Nobody orders a shipping container freezer without having a very specific use for it in mind. Some require shelves installed in them, some require some sort of partition. Most people and organizations want their shipping container freezers to have their logos printed on them, or have a preference when it comes to how the shipping container freezer looks. The best way to do all of this is to do it in the factory while every other part of the reefer is being built.

Where Can You Get a Shipping Container Freezer?

As we mentioned before, our company, Green Box Containers, has a long history of building all types of modified shipping containers, and shipping container freezers are among our specialties. We can make custom-built reefers to meet all your requirements, and we can prepare them in a very short period of time, usually taking less than a month (around two weeks in most cases) to build your reefer.

We factor in all your preferences and requirements, and we adhere to the highest standards in the industry while modifying the shipping container. If you have any questions regarding our modification process, our prices, or any other detail, please contact us. We are ready to provide you with all the details you might need.

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