New and Used Reefer Trailers for the Job


The modern carrier industry is a robust one, since there are so many clients that need goods shipped for them, such as raw materials, finished goods, and foodstuffs of all kinds. Larger carrier companies offer heavy-duty vehicles such as ships, which can deliver many tons of goods by sea to the world’s ports, or they can offer jets, which make high-speed deliveries over any terrain type. On land, meanwhile, freight trains can deliver a lot of good at once, and finally, there are semi trucks to fill in the gaps. Semi trucks don’t have the carrying capacity of a train or the speed of a jet, but they are much easier for small carrier firms to buy and run, and many shippers don’t need larger vehicles anyway. So, countless truck carrier companies enjoy a lot of business today, and they often make use of specialized trailers too, such as carrier reefers. Now, what is a reefer trailer, and how can a wholesale buyer find new reefer trailers or gently used reefer trailers for purchase? Is this sector worth getting into?

The Business of Reefer Trailers

To clarify, a reefer trailer is a specialized truck trailer that is geared for carrying cold-sensitive items inside, often cold foods (meat, dairy, etc) for grocery store clients. To this end, reefer units feature not only insulated walls to keep outside warmth out, but they also have air conditioner units that will chill the interior to any desired temperature. Typical reefer units can generate a temperature anywhere from -20 to 70 degrees, based on the needs of their cargo. As for the size of these things, reefer trailers vary from 28 to 53 feet in length, and the largest models may be 13.5 feet tall and weigh up to 44,000 pounds or so.

The business for refrigerated trailer units is huge, and it’s still growing. In the United States alone, just over 500,000 of them are currently in operation, and the number of orders grows from one year to another. For example, January 2018 had 2505 more reefer trailer orders than January 2017 did. Meanwhile, the worldwide market for these trailers was valued at $5 billion in 2015, and experts believe that this industry will grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2016 to 2022. At that rate, it may hit an estimated value of $7.65 billion by the year 2022. In this case, it’s clear that most carrier company owners who buy a used or new reefer trailer will take part in a huge market, and profit greatly. But how can this be done?

Finding Used and New Reefer Trailers

The owner of a truck carrier company may decide to add a few new reefer trailers to their fleet, so they can expand their client options to include grocery stores and the like. A buyer can do some research ahead of time to see if there are enough potential clients nearby to make a new reefer trailer worth the price, and if so, they can look online to find local new or used models. While a new reefer trailer will cost more, it will come with factory warranties and be in excellent condition. Meanwhile, more budget-oriented buyers can look for gently used reefers, which may be bought for a discounted price. In this case, the buyer is urged to carefully examine the trailer before making a purchase, such as checking its air conditioner unit’s wiring, its brakes and axles, and other features for any outstanding maintenance issues.

Now, how to finance a new reefer trailer? Big banks see small lenders such as carrier company owners as risky, so the owner of a small truck carrier firm should turn to specialized truck lenders instead for loans. Lenders like these will check the applicant’s credit scores (personal and business) and look into their financial history for any red flags. A borrower with good credit may get as much as 100% of a trailer’s value in a loan (and at a low interest rate), while borrowers with mediocre to poor credit can still get loans, though with less favorable terms. In any case, the trailer will act as collateral, making this a secured loan and therefore more attractive to the lender.

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