Phase 2 - The empty release


After the shipping line has accepted the booking, preparations need to be made for the empty release of the refrigerated container and the genset.

The operations staff at the shipping line must check to ensure the refrigerated equipment requested in the booking is available at the load port. If the equipment type is not available, the operations team should confirm to the booking representative that they can or cannot reposition the type and amount of equipment from another location by the date the shipper indicated they will pick up the empty container.

Prior to the empty release, the refrigeration unit, the refrigerated container and genset must go through a pre-trip inspection (PTI). Such inspections are crucial to ensure the unit will perform as desired.

The following is a general but not all inclusive list of items that should be checked and documented during a standard PTI:

Refrigerated Container box

  • Steam clean the interior of the container and check for any visible damages
  • Interior must be cleaned and free of any undesirable odours
  • Damage must be repaired and damaged rear door seals must be repaired or replaced
  • Floor drains & missing/damaged kazoos (rubber boots) must be clear of debris, clean and replaced, if necessary.

Refrigeration Unit

  • Unit mounting bolts must be present and tight
  • Condenser fins and grille must be clean and unclogged
  • Electrical compartments must be clean, corrosion free and have effective door seals
  • All decals, wiring diagrams and instruction plates must be present and legible
  • Electrical connectors, air change vents and gas ports must be free of corrosion and be capped as required 
  • There must not be excessive corrosion on lower steel parts, which are at risk of contact with seawater, such as compressor and receiver tank mounting brackets
  • The main power cord and plug must be in good condition and free from cuts, damage and corrosion 
  • Run the temperature of the container down to -18C for a period of three hours
  • A primary main power supply should be used instead of connecting to a generator set for the machinery inspection.

When performing the visual check, ensure that each of the following machinery sections is examined carefully: 

  • Main Frame
  • Compressor section
  • Temperature recorder and/or controller compartment
  • Fresh air exchange ports are clean
  • Condenser section
  • Electrical compartment
  • TXV (thermostatic expansion) valve compartment
  • Evaporator section
  • Diesel section (applies to reefer truck only)
  • Diesel drive (applies to reefer truck only)
  • Main power cable compartments
  • Electrical cables, wiring and refrigerant piping
  • Interior panels, plenums and screens.

If any deficiencies are noted, the cause of the defect and the defect itself must be repaired or replaced.

The pre-trip inspection should be repeated if the unit is not used for a booking within 31 days.


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