Stop Loss 17 - Guidelines for Carriage of Cargo in Non-Operating Reefers

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.

A new document entitled 'Guidelines for the Carriage of Cargoes in Non-Operating Reefer Containers' has been published by the Container Owners Association (, in conjunction with the CINS (Cargo Incident Notification System) Organisation ( and the TT Club.

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