Everything You Wanted To Know About TEU In Shipping (3)

TEU Reefer and Dimensions

Reefer containers are sturdy, large, mobile refrigerators that are used to carry goods with special temperature requirements. They can maintain a temperature normally ranging between -30° C and +30° C.


Reefers are cooled using Gensets (generator sets) that work on both electricity and fuel since they are transported over land as well as by sea on cargo carriers.

Refrigerated containers use temperature logging equipment called Data Loggers to indicate and log temperature inside a reefer unit during transport.

This data can often be downloaded onto a personal computer for evaluation. Most of the reefer containers in circulation around the world are of TEU size

Because of the design and insulation materials used in the construction of reefers their internal dimensions are much less than normal dry vans or TEU.

While loading and stacking cargo, enough gap has to be left for the circulation of cool air within the container. This eats into space further. Gratings on the container floor and the walls along with the additional space at the base of a pallet help in air circulation.

Another requirement while loading the container is to leave a minimum space of 12 centimetres between the cargo and the inner roof of the TEU reefer.

The internal length of a TEU reefer is 17 feet 10 inches. Its width is 7 feet 6 inches and the height is 7 feet 1 inch. These containers have a tare weight (weight of the container when empty) of 2990 kilograms and they can take a maximum payload of 21450 kilograms or a volume of 24 to 26 CBM (848 to 918 cubic feet) each.

What is a CSC Plate?

Containers that are used to transport cargo have something called a CSC plate fixed on them and a TEU is no exception. The CSC plate is a safety approval plate that lists the container details such as its design, inspection date, the gross weight (total weight of the container and its payload) of the container, etc. These details are required as a minimum.

According to the CSC 1972 (Convention for Safe Containers), every container that is used for transportation of cargo has to be inspected by an authorized inspector once in 30 months to certify its sea or roadworthiness. A CSC plate is fixed on the container after each such successful inspection.

Convention for Safe Containers 1972

Convention for Safe Containers 1972 abbreviated to CSC 1972 is a set of uniform safety regulations that applies to all transport containers above a certain prescribed size.

The convention was jointly held by the United Nations (UN) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to promote human safety while handling transport containers.

The CSC 1972 mandates containers that are covered under this convention to fit safety approval plates showing the required details on it.

What Goes Inside a TEU?

Yet another difficult question is, what can go inside a TEU? It would depend on several factors such as the packing, weight, and volume of the cargo.

For comparison sake, let us say about 282 bags of flour each weighing 100 kilograms, 2820 packets of corn weighing 10 kilograms each, 1 large car with enough padding around it to prevent scratches and damage, or about 100 washing machines double-stacked is what a GP TEU can hold. However, remember that these numbers depend a lot on the individual packing of cargo and other such factors.