Refrigerated transport

How can we best control temperature, humidity and gas conditions during transportation in an energy-efficient way? Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has a wealth of knowledge and experience in optimising this specialised form of transport.

The demand for sustainable transport is increasing in all links of the refrigerated chain. Key issues are reducing energy consumption and improving the climate control to extend shelf life and minimise food wastage. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research can make a significant contribution in this process. We have knowledge and expertise in every type of conditioned transport over land, sea and by air. In solving these issues, we constantly look for partnerships with global stakeholders, and utilise our multidisciplinary knowhow in the field of refrigerated transport.

Test facility for conditioned transport

Our recognised ATP test station (which is large enough to accommodate complete trailers) and the associated measuring equipment provide us with a unique basis for performing measurements on refrigerated transport equipment. This allows us to improve conditioning during transport and/or reduce fuel consumption. An example is the developed control method (Quest II) for refrigerating reefer containers, which reduces the energy consumption of these containers by up to 65 percent.

We also contributed to the improvement of insulated air freight containers with dry ice as a refrigerating source by means of model calculations and climate chamber tests. Other examples include:

  • Insulation value measurements and infrared thermography on various tank containers;
  • Monitoring of transport conditions (temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, oxygen, ethylene) and the analysis thereof;
  • Designing and testing insulated units with passive refrigeration (PCM cooling elements);
  • Improving defrosting control;
  • Improving humidity control.

Developments in climate control

A new generation of refrigerated transport technology, such as multi-temperature transport in multi-chamber vehicles or ‘low noise’ refrigerators, creates new R&D issues. We are happy to help you meet these challenges.


Are you looking for an update on the basics of refrigeration technology? Check out the Refrigerated Transport Technology Course here.



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