7.1   Porthole refrigerated containers
7.1.1 Cold air supply on ships
7.1.2 Cold air supply at terminals
7.1.3 Cold air supply on trucks/trains
7.1.4 Shipping line services with porthole containers
7.1.5 Ships and slots
7.1.6 Prospects
Porthole container technology was developed before the seventies and used on the North-South routes which carried large volumes of refrigerated cargo. The first generation of container ships with porthole refrigerated containers is now over twenty-five years old and will soon be replaced by ships with a greater capacity for integral refrigerated containers.
Porthole containers are thermally insulated and have two sealable openings on the end walls (the portholes) through which cold air can be blown into the container and warm air can be extracted. The cold air is forced through the lower aperture into the container, then distributed throughout the load via a T-bar grating and subsequently flows through the load to the top of the container and is extracted through the upper aperture.
Porthole containers are available in three sizes, each for different regions: 8' high, 20' containers used by operators in Australia, New Zealand and South America when transporting goods to Europe, 8½' high, 20' containers between South Africa and Europe, and 8½' high, 40' containers between the west coast of South America / the Caribbean and Europe.
Since porthole containers do not have an integrated refrigeration unit, they always need to be refrigerated by external means. This can be achieved in various different ways, depending on the current location of the container.

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