Your production facility, warehouse, or food prep business may need a separate refrigerated container if you regularly ship items that need to stay refrigerated or if your inside refrigerator doesn't offer enough storage space. Since a refrigerated container is not like a standard shipping container, it's good to know what to look for so you get one that's right for your needs and know how to operate it properly. Consider a few factors you'll want to keep in mind when buying a refrigerated container.
Note if the container runs on fuel or if it's electric
Some containers will have a cooling unit that runs on diesel fuel, especially a more heavy-duty cooler that is meant to be stored in very warm areas or direct sunlight, or that provides freezing capacity. An electric cooler may be more lightweight, but you may prefer electric versus having to fill a generator with diesel fuel. Consider your needs for cooling versus your comfort with managing a gas-powered cooling unit, and also note the power needed for an electrical unit. You may need to have an electrician upgrade the wiring of your facility to manage the amps and volts needed to run a cooler, otherwise you may blow a circuit or have continuous brownouts.
Ask about the need for clearance and airflow
Most refrigerated containers cannot be stored right up against a wall, as they need room for airflow in order to keep the motor of the unit cool. Some may only need clearance along the one side where the motor and fan are both located. If you plan on storing your refrigerated container inside, be sure you ask about the clearance needed for airflow and are able to accommodate this, or you may need to downgrade to a smaller unit that you can place away from an interior wall.
Note how to maintain the interior temperature during loading and unloading
Some refrigerated containers are meant to be closed at all times, so that you can maintain a consistent temperature inside. However, if you need a refrigerated container that you will be accessing very often throughout the day, ask if you should install a plastic curtain of some sort, or if there is another way to maintain its interior temperature. It may also be advised that you turn down the temperature so that the unit will run as needed when you have it open, or monitor the interior temperature often during loading and unloading rather than assuming your perishable items are being properly cooled.