Reefer Container Fleet

CMA CGM owns one of the largest and youngest fleets of Reefer containers designed for transport of perishable goods in a temperature-controlled environment.
The CMA CGM Reefer fleet consists of 20’ and 40’high cube, as well as the 45’ containers (33 euro pallet wide containers).

Consult the technical characteristics of our Reefer containers.

Download the Reefer brochure.

Our customers' goods deserve the best conditions during the transport to maintain their quality to their final destination.

To ensure that, CMA CGM uses different technologies adapted to each product.

How does it work ?

The principle

All CMA CGM Reefer containers are bottom air delivery units designed to distribute chilled air from the floor, via specific T-shaped decking, with the advantage of producing a consistent and uniform flow of air across the entire shipment, powerful enough to ensure a perfect air exchange with the goods.
The powerful refrigeration units can maintain or lower the temperature your shipment, even in the most difficult conditions. Each unit is also equipped to ‘warm up’ the goods for those shipments where required, with the ability to maintain temperatures up to 30°C when required, regardless of outside temps.

Controlling the temperature

  1. Frozen mode : temperature control is accurately achieved through the return air.
  2. Chilled mode : temperature control is accurately achieved through the supply air flow.


Forced circulation of cool air prevents chilled products from ripening too quickly , ensuring a longer shelf-life and maintaining the market value.
In order to remove the unwanted gas and moisture generated by respiration (which can affect quality of the products), fresh air can be exchanged at the rate of 0 to 260 m3/hour, depending on the requirements and the kind of Reefer used.

1. Refrigeration unit
2. Boxes do not extend beyond pallet
3. Deck board spacing allows vertical airflow
4. Boxes vented for vertical airflow
5. Pallet load is secured
6. Rear doors
7. Air space above cargo
8. Airflow
9. Box vents aligned

An option for every requirement

The following options can be adapted to our reefer containers, according to customers' needs and those of the cargo.

Controlling Atmosphere


Modifying the nature of the air in the container (specifically CO2 and O2 levels) significantly slows down the ripening process of fresh produce and lengthens the storage period.

  1. AFAM +

    The AFAM+ system accurately controls the level of CO2 in a container and is ideally suited for certain fruits and vegetables such as avocados, grapes and broccoli.


    The TRANSFRESH system accurately controls CO2 and O2 levels and it involves an injection of gases at the start of the voyage.

Controlling Temperature

  • High freezer containers are ideal for products (ice-cream and frozen fish) which require extremely low temperatures (down to -35°C).
  • Cold Treatment is a highly precise process where goods (mainly fruits) are kept at a specific and accurate temperature for a predetermined, uninterrupted period to remove of parasites (fruit flies and larvae).
  • Multi-temperatures system is used for some commodities, such as tomatoes or potatoes, that may require temperature changes during the voyage (up to six different temperatures can be programmed).

Controlling Humidity

Various products require a reduced level of humidity inside the container (dehumidification).
Most of CMA CGM containers are equipped with a system capable of controlling the humidity within the range of 95 to 55%.

Very Sensitive cargo

Some products require special care because of their impact on the environment, human or animal health. This segment of the market is vast, and ranges from pharmaceutical products to frozen fish.

Our expertise with these products has led to special processes to ensure safety, correct handling and special care:

  • To the equipment before it is released to our customers to make sure it fits to the cargo requirements
  • To the entire transportation chain according to the customers’ requirements to guarantee the quality of the goods

Continuous monitoring

During the journey

CMA CGM’s reefer experts monitor the containers at every stage of the journey to ensure they are functioning correctly:

  • On entering and leaving the container yard
  • When being loaded on to a train or truck
  • When parked in the port terminal
  • During the voyage on board ship

Throughout the journey, CMA CGM staff regularly monitors the reefer containers using an electronic microprocessor and data-loggers, which record all parameters even when the reefer is unplugged.

The data-logger gives us information on:

  • Supply air temperature
  • Return air temperature
  • Ambient temperature
  • Cargo temperature (optional)
  • Humidity level

Other actions which could impact on the quality of the merchandise are also monitored and recorded :

  • Tuning operations
  • Modifying the parameters
  • Interventions
  • Breakdowns
  • Alarms


A large majority of the units in the CMA CGM Reefer fleet are equipped with modems, providing constant communication with the ship’s bridge. In case of problem, an alarm signal immediately alerts the technicians ensuring a quick action.

Containers adapted to intermodal


To guarantee that the “cold chain” remains intact throughout the journey, CMA CGM reefer containers need a permanent supply of electricity. On board they are plugged into the vessel’s supply and on the quay into that of the terminal. Those going by road (rail or truck) are equipped with portable generators called gensets.

Containers 45’ and 33 Pallet Wide

CMA CGM has 45’ Pallet Wide Reefer Containers adapted to multi-modal transportation, allowing a largest number of pallets to be loaded (33).

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Support