Reefer Container Temperature for Onion | Onion Shelf Life

Reefer Container Temperature for Onion

Reefer containers are especially designed to move perishable goods from one port to another. These containers are outfitted with refrigeration units that sustain particular temperature ranges to retain the freshness and quality of the goods. Reefer containers are essential to the worldwide supply chain of temperature-sensitive goods because they are readily available in conventional sizes (often 20 or 40 feet) and may be moved by different modes of transportation.

What is the Role of Reefer Container Temperature for Onions?

In the realm of international trade, there's an unexpected treasure to be unveiled: the onion. This kitchen staple is a necessity for every household because it comes in different flavors and has health benefits. As we set out for an onion export journey, let's look into the export process and understand why it's crucial to keep reefer container temperatures steady during shipping.

Why Is Onion Shelf Life Important?

Onion shelf life plays a vital role in the perishable industry. If the onions are not maintained in a controlled environment, they will be exposed to external elements and deteriorate quickly. Onions with a longer shelf life reduce the chances of needing less water resources and spoilage. of spoilage, which means less waste and better use of resources. This goes well for both the buyers and the sellers, which boosts profitable growth in the business. The longer the shelf life of the onions, the more the increased supply of the onions in the market ensures to meet consumer satisfaction and demand. With the prolonged life of the onion’s shelf life, the onions can be exported to various international destinations without compromising their quality. In addition, the shelf life of onions supports food security by ensuring a stable supply of this staple vegetable used in global cuisines.

Storage Recommendations for Onions in Reefer Containers

When storing and transporting perishable goods like onions, it's essential to keep the temperature in the containers at a constant level. Reefer containers constantly regulate the internal temperature to protect against temperature changes that degrade freshness and nutritional value. This controlled environment extends the shelf life of onions and reduces food waste and spoilage. In addition, adhering to exact temperature ranges ensures compliance with food safety regulations, which are required to meet customer expectations and industry standards.

Onions (Dry)

  • Recommended Temperature: +4°C to +8°C
  • Maximum Air Exchange: 25 M³/hour
  • Approximate Storage Duration: 180 days
  • Humidity Control: ON
  • Humidity Setting: 60%

These specifications allow us to monitor temperature, regulate humidity levels, and ensure sufficient ventilation to preserve the quality of the onions.

The Ongoing Practices to Load Onions in a Reefer Container

Examine the refrigerated containers before loading.

  • Look for any damage, such as the ceiling panels, side walls, and doors.
  • Clear out all the debris.
  • Make sure the floor drains are sealed. There should be covers at each of the four corners inside the ship or truck, as well as outside at the corners.
  • Maintain the required temperature to precool the transport.
  • Ensure that the reefer container functions well and has sufficient fuel to complete the export journey.

Check the temperature of the perishable goods you’re loading.

  • The onion temperature should be set within a consistent temperature range, either above or below a specified threshold.
  • If the onions are not within the set point's required temperature range, heat or cool them.
  • Make sure that the loading area is closed.

Inspect the reefer containers while loading.

  • While loading the goods, keep in mind that you should turn off the refrigeration unit.
  • It is advisable to load the goods within four hours to retain their quality.
  • After loading, seal the door properly and switch on the refrigeration unit.

Steps need to be taken before unloading the goods.

  • It is necessary to unload the goods within 24 hours of their arrival at the desired destination.
  • During unloading, remember to shut off the refrigeration unit.
  • Clean it after unloading the goods.
  • After cleaning, make sure the floor drain plugs are put back in place.
  • Ensure the refrigeration unit is turned off and that the doors are properly shut.

Why is the storage of onions in a reefer container important?

It is crucial to store the onions at the right temperature before loading them into the transport. If the onions are exposed to warm temperatures, they might lose their taste and aroma, which will lower market demand. In addition, the fluctuation in temperature has the potential to raise their humidity levels, causing the onions to rot quickly from the excess condensation. But you also need to avoid storing the onions at very low temperatures, as this will bring them to a freezing point, leading to soft spots and premature rotting that won’t be able to be consumed or sold. You must follow the practice of storing these perishable goods at the required temperature to maintain international market standards.

We've put a great effort into the temperature control systems, especially with reefer container technology. Modern features in refrigeration and insulation now enable you to maintain a desired temperature to store perishable goods like onions. Furthermore, advanced reefer containers are equipped with a remote monitoring system, allowing you to monitor the onion conditions inside the container. This will help you predict any potential delays or inconsistent temperatures during the transit. These methods are like a blessing in disguise; they help us to go along with the best cold storage facilities and ensure that the onions retain their quality, freshness, and flavor, making them suitable for export.

Packing Materials

When it comes to exporting onions via reefer (refrigerated) containers, choosing the right packing materials is crucial to maintaining their quality and ensuring they arrive at their destination in optimal condition. Here are some recommended packing materials and considerations:

Ventilated Containers or Mesh Bags: These bags are made of plastic and mesh materials that allow sufficient air supply. These durable bags prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, reducing spoilage and maintaining the integrity of perishable goods.

Wooden Bins or Crates: When transporting onions, wooden containers prove to be a perfect option as they provide sturdy support and safety. Made from sturdy, moisture-resistant wood, these bins are designed to withstand the challenges that are faced during transit. Because of their strong design, they can be safely stacked inside reefer containers to maximize space without jeopardizing the safety of the onions.

Pallets: Pallets are made of sturdy wood or plastic and are used to ship perishable goods in a reefer container. They simplify the complexity of loading and unloading goods, thereby enhancing ventilation and ensuring efficient organization during shipment.

There are also other benefits to shipping onions with the help of a reefer container temperature system:

Compliance: The perishable goods must adhere to stringent temperature control regulations during transport. Reefer containers assist businesses in meeting these standards, thereby avoiding potential fines and maintaining onion quality.

Global Reach: Businesses can use reefer containers to expand their high-quality onion exports and provide fresh and perishable goods delivery to customers in a variety of geographical areas. This strategy promotes development and creates new chances for international trade, ensuring that goods arrive at their destination in optimal condition and are prepared to impress consumers everywhere.

No Risk or Damage: With the availability of temperature-controlled reefer containers, onions can be safeguarded from elements like external heat, pests, and damage throughout the transit. This reduces the possibility of loss or improper handling, guaranteeing that the onions reach their destination in the best possible shape.


Due to their adaptability and ability to enhance flavor in a wide range of recipes, onion exports have dominated the world's food supply. To preserve onions' quality and increase their shelf life, they must be stored and exported under special care. Since reefer containers provide temperature control options, you now don’t have to worry about shipping perishables to any corner of the world.

Citrus Freight, the reputed reefer container booking platform, stands second to none for exporting your perishables globally.

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