What is the Cold Chain?

You may have heard the term cold chain before. Today on the blog we will be reviewing what it is and why it is so vital for our globalized world.

An Intro to the Cold Chain

According to the Global Cold Chain Alliance, “The cold chain refers to managing the temperature of perishable products in order to maintain quality and safety from the point of origin through the distribution chain to the final consumer.” We can see that a lot of the key concepts of supply chain are present here (see Moon Warehousing’s blog post on supply chains to learn more), with an added layer specific to temperature. Put simply, the it involves perishable products that rely upon refrigeration. Management practices and temperature control technologies have evolved to help meet the needs of these products.

There are a few hundred years of history behind this. For at least as far back as the 1700s, temperature control has been leveraged while transporting goods. In fact, the British purportedly used ice during transportation to preserve fish in the 18th century. Today, food, medicine, vaccines, and other important goods rely upon the cold chain for global distribution.

Key Parts

We can break the cold chain down into a few key parts. First, there are the cooling systems and technologies that help keep goods temperature-controlled. This includes technology in refrigerated containers, dry ice, gel packs, and even insulated blankets in some cases. Second, there’s the crucial element of storage. There are warehouses with various roles from long-term temperature-controlled storage to intermediary distribution and last mile logistics. Third, there are specific transportation technologies that help goods stay temperature-controlled. Ships, trucks, planes, and other vehicles keep goods at specific temperatures. The final key part deals with distribution. Boxes, pallets, and crates also help process and distribute these goods safely and without compromising temperature control.

Its Importance Today

Cold chain operations play a key role in the global economy today. For instance, in North America alone, cold chain warehouses store hundreds of billions of pounds of perishable food each year. Additionally, temperature-sensitive medications rely upon cold chain practices to be effectively distributed to the people who need them. Also, some of the approved COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed across various countries have to be kept in specific temperature ranges to maintain their effectiveness. The cold chain will allow global vaccination distribution to be possible.

Restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, and other key organizations require cold chain technology to thrive. For all of your cold storage needs, you can trust Moon Mini Refrigeration. We also offer the option to rent our portable refrigeration units for short or long term periods. We deliver units to your location for on-site refrigeration or freezer applications throughout Kentucky, Indiana and beyond. Visit our website to learn more!

Moon Mini Refrigeration offers flexible rental periods, multiple container sizes, great prices, and top-notch customer service. With our great options and excellent service, we can help you find the reefer container that’s perfect for your needs! To rent a refrigerated container today, give us a call at 5027722821.

History of the Reefer Container

The refrigerated container, sometimes called reefer container, is a fundamental part of shipping and storage today. How did we get to this point? Let’s take a look at the history of the reefer container.

19th Century

By all accounts, some forms of refrigerated shipping by the early 1800’s. Up until this point, any cargo that could spoil, like seafood, was only shipped to nearby locations. But in the early 1800’s some ships were utilizing ice and salt in their cargo holds to reduce the amount of spoiling that occurred. Fishing boats were also known to carry ice with them to keep fish fresh as they were caught. Where did they acquire the ice? People in the industry would sometimes cut it from frozen lakes in cold areas like Scandinavia or Maine.

By the late 19th century, a few notable experiments with refrigerated containers occurred. In 1876, Charles Tellier, a French engineer, created an ether-based refrigeration system that allowed containers to maintain a temperature of 0 degrees Celcius. Additionally, in 1877, French engineer Ferdinand Carre improved upon Tellier’s system and successfully shipped 150 tons of frozen meat from Sydney, Australia to the United Kingdom over 50 days.

20th Century- Reefer Containers Arise

Several other notable innovations, like the portable air cooling unit and mobile refrigeration specifically for fruit, emerged in the early 1900s. Refrigerated shipping of meat and fruit became more and more common through the middle of the century. By the 1960s, insulated containers on ships were fully developed. In the 1970s, the first refrigerated containers with integrated cooling units were also produced and used.

More and more attention was being given to the containers’ ability to be easily transported in mass. For example, containers were designed for transportation on large cargo carriers. Self-contained, insulated containers were stacked onto ships and then plugged in to the ships’ power systems.

In the 1990s, new refrigerated containers with atmospheric controls rolled out. These units have carbon dioxide and oxygen sensors that can balance the amount of the two gases to slow fruit ripening. They also can pump nitrogen into containers to help do so.


Reefers continue to be improved today. Some recent innovations include monitoring systems for real-time tracking, a move towards more 40 foot units to increase efficiency, and advanced security technology. In the future, we can expect reefers to become more and more trackable, with customers wanting shipping information and companies wanting immediate information on the state of goods during transportation.

The cold chain is now a crucial supply chain across the world. Importantly, this has an impact on many industries. Some of the upcoming coronavirus vaccines require specific container temperatures during transportation and storage. This will only be possible with the advanced technology of reefer containers today.

Moon Mini Refrigeration offers flexible rental periods, multiple container sizes, great prices, and top-notch customer service. With our great options and excellent service, we can help you find the reefer container that’s perfect for your needs! To rent a refrigerated container today, give us a call at 502-772-2821.

Reefer Containers: How They Work

A reefer container is a common term used to refer to a refrigerated container. Reefer containers are used around the globe in various supply chains. They are incredibly effective for cold and frozen storage, both in transportation and for short and long-term storage. The demand for reefer containers has surged in the past few years, and their technology continues to improve on energy efficiency, quietness, and maintenance overhead.

How do they work? Read along to find out more.

Reefer Containers: An Overview

Reefer containers are temperature-controlled containers for transportation and storage. Like non-cooling shipping containers, they are often made for transportation in their construction. They are often mass-shipped on cargo ships, so their size and exterior construction is made for easy stacking and transport.

Reefers keep goods cooled by distributing cold air within each container. They do not actually reduce the temperature of goods- they maintain temperatures of already cooled or frozen goods. They also need a power source to maintain cooling and freezing. Generators are the solution for this. They This is typically achieved through a generator that’s attached to a reefer. Generators may run on gas, electric, or a combination of both. Moon Mini’s Refrigeration’s units run entirely on electricity, providing a lower-cost cooling solution that also avoids the need for constant refueling.

The Science of Cooling in Reefer Containers

Depending on the desired temperature for goods in a container, the way you stack boxes varies. For containers with chilled goods, airflow must constantly circulate around and between goods. This is because the goods themselves, in addition to the exterior of the container, may be a heat source. For instance, fruits and vegetables undergo respiration processes and produce carbon dioxide and gases that can create heat as they are being shipped. Goods like these that may produce heat and need chilling should be stacked with overlaps that create air pockets between boxes. This allows airflow around the outside of boxes during shipping and keeps goods cooled.

In cases of frozen cargo, the approach is different. Frozen goods do not release heat, and reducing surface area exposure to heat sources is critical. This means stacking boxes together with no gaps. There just needs to be airflow between the outside of exposed boxes and the container wall, to cool any warm air from the exterior.

Other Important Functions

Reefer containers have numerous other features that help keep cargo cooled. For one, they often have fresh air ventilation that helps replace overly-humid air from containers (this is common when shipping fruits and vegetables). Additionally, there are tools that help measure air temperature and humidity. There are also fans to help circulate air properly. Plus, like all shipping containers, reefer containers have secure doors that allow for safe shipping and storage.

Moon Mini Refrigeration offers flexible rental periods, multiple container sizes, great prices, and top-notch customer service. To rent a refrigerated container today, give us a call at 502-772-2821.

refrigerated containers in lexington kentucky

Refrigerated Containers in Lexington Kentucky

As the second largest city in Kentucky, Lexington is a sports lover’s paradise. Officially dubbed the “Horse Capitol of the World,” the city is home to notable tracks such as Keeneland race course and The Red Mile (the second oldest track in the U.S.) where many large scale events are put on annually. In addition to the equestrian culture, Lexington hosts many sporting events in Rupp Arena and Kroger Field. Both of which are home to the University of Kentucky’s division 1 athletic teams.

Locally owned and operated out of Louisville, Kentucky, Moon Mini Refrigeration has extensive experience assisting in catering special events throughout Kentuckiana. As with any sporting event, refrigeration is often required to keep concessions fresh. With a large inventory of refrigerated containers in Lexington Kentucky available for rent, Moon Mini Refrigeration is often able to offer cold storage on even the shortest of notice.

4 Benefits of Renting Refrigerated Containers in Lexington Kentucky

1. Walk-In Storage

Moon Mini Refrigeration’s 10 foot portable walk in cooler is particularly well suited for catering sporting events. The 10 inch freezer can be easily placed indoors or outdoors for readily available access to goods throughout the duration of a sporting event. Additionally, these coolers come with a heavy duty locking door that features a safety release, an exterior temperature gauge, interior lighting and detachable wheels.

2. Energy Efficiency

All of Moon’s refrigerated containers are equipped with state of the art technology. Powered by electricity, each unit offers quiet and energy efficient refrigeration. This eliminates the cost and hassles often associated with other diesel powered refrigerated trailers.

3. Flexible Rental Terms

Whether the need for cold storage is short or long term, Moon Mini Refrigeration is able to offer flexible rental periods. We understand the ebb and flow of seasonal demands. In the case of a broken unit, our refrigerated containers can quickly provide temporary cold storage so no product is lost. With three sizes available, we can provide optimal cold storage space that meets your needs.

4. Technical Support

Upon delivery, our technician will provide set up assistance to ensure all of the proper electrical requirements are met. After a simple hookup, we will also go over how to operate the container and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

As one of Kentucky’s largest full service leasing companies, we are known for providing top notch customer service. We look forward to supporting the sporting community of Lexington, Kentucky for many years. To rent a refrigerated container in Lexington Kentucky, contact us at 502-772-2821!