The Robust Market for Truck Reefer Trailers


There are a number of ways to transport raw materials, finished goods, and foodstuffs by land, ocean, and air, from jets to trains to ships. Larger carrier companies can offer jets to make overnight deliveries or ships to export many tons of goods to foreign ports, while countless small carrier companies instead offer fleets of semi trucks for their shipper clients. Trucks aren’t fast like jets or huge like ships, but they are much more affordable, and they can drive on any road and do not need a landing strip, train station, or port to arrive at their destination. The modern truck delivery industry in the United States is a huge one, and the U.S. also performs a lot of land-based trade with Canada via truck. As for the trailers, there is a variety of trailers for different jobs, and that includes reefer units. But what is a reefer trailer, and how can carrier company owners find used reefer trailers for sale in their area? Are wholesale reefer units worth the investment?

The Uses of Reefer Trailers

For the most part, reefer trailers are meant to carry cold-sensitive food items and medicine, since a reefer trailer is a refrigerated truck unit with insulated walls to keep the cold inside. To generate the necessary temperatures inside, these trailers are also outfitted with air conditioners, and these reefer trailers can maintain a temperature anywhere from -20 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on the needs of the cargo inside). As for their size, these trailers vary somewhat in length and height, with the smallest being 28 feet long and the largest being an impressive 53 feet long and 13.5 feet tall. The largest reefers may carry up to 44,000 pounds of cargo inside, too, such as dairy, frozen foods, and meats. It is not surprising that these reefer trailers often make deliveries for grocery stores, and while dry goods arrive in regular truck trailers, perishables must arrive at the grocery store’s dock in a reefer trailer.

This is a big business, and it is still growing. Around 500,000 such trailers are in operation across the United States, and many more are being used around the world. As of 2015, the global refrigerated market was around $5, but by the year 2022, it may hit a value of $7.65 billion, growing at an estimated CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022. In the United States, more and more such trailers are being ordered every year, and some used reefer trailers for sale can make for a great deal. In other cases, buyers want the newest wholesale reefer trailers for optimal performance. But what about financing such a trailer?

Financing New and Used Reefer Trailers For Sale

A truck company owner may decide to look up new and used reefer trailers for sale in their area so they can expand their list of clients to include grocery stores, to deliver perishable foods to them. This can be highly lucrative, but still, the company owner should take care to find a unit that they can afford to buy and run. This means looking online for new and/or used reefers of the desired price and type nearby, and it is a good idea to personally look over these reefers and check them for any outstanding issues. This is especially true of used ones, which might have problems with their wheels and axles, brake lights, air conditioning units, or anything else. But a gently used trailer may make a great buy if its issues aren’t too expensive to take care of, and a new trailer will be in perfect condition and have factory warranties.

Financing reefers means turning to not big banks, but specialized lending companies that typically work with trucking firms. These companies understand the risks, and will give out loans with more generous terms than big banks will. Still, such a lender will assess a client’s personal and business credit scores and check their financial history for any red flags. A lender with great credit may get as much as 100% of the trailer’s value in a loan at a low interest rate, and even borrowers with iffy or bad credit can get a loan, though with less favorable terms.

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