StopLoss: guidelines for the carriage of cargo in non-operating reefer containers
In order to minimise empty repositioning costs, container operators frequently use reefer containers in a ‘non-operating’ mode to carry approved dry cargo – either on a return leg or to re-position the equipment without operating the refrigeration machinery.
Transporting ‘non-operating reefer’ (NOR) cargo enables the carriage of additional cargo, where reefers need to be positioned for their next cargo move, but are competing for slot space with revenue-earning dry cargo. Because of the differences between General Purpose and Refrigerated containers (both the design and the materials), additional considerations are necessary in relation to approval of cargo to be carried in this way and the packing requirements that need to be taken into account.
Refrigerated containers (known as reefers) are designed to be used to transport temperature controlled cargo. Since there may be insufficient temperature controlled cargo for a ‘return’ leg, reefers would normally be positioned empty to a demand location.
In order to minimise empty repositioning costs, container operators may use reefer containers in a non-operating mode to carry approved dry cargo on a return leg. Such cargo is described as non-operating reefer cargo (NOR cargo).
NOR cargo is defined as a cargo that is approved for packing into a refrigerated container to be transported without operating the refrigeration machinery.
Transporting NOR cargo enables the carriage of additional cargo in busy trade lanes where reefers need to be positioned for their next cargo move, but are competing for slot space with revenue earning dry cargo.
Reefer containers differ from General Purpose (GP) containers in both design and materials. This must be taken into account in relation to the approval of and packing requirements for NOR cargo.
These guidelines are intended to help container operators and shippers in making decisions that
appropriately protect both cargo and containers.