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Temperature Control Containers

What is a Reefer Container?

A reefer container is a specialized container that carries temperature-sensitive goods at regulated cold temperatures. Built to work as a large refrigerator, the container type can usually maintain a temperature range of -30°C and +30°C. So, you can easily use a reefer container to transport frozen, chilled, or cold goods.

Containers have made it possible to ship all types of goods. But, if you have to ship temperature-sensitive or perishable goods, then a conventional box may be of no use to you. If only there were a refrigerated container that could preserve your cargo. Well, what if we tell you there is? And it’s called a reefer container.

Reefer containers have played a vital role in the Covid-19 crisis. As the nations entered into lockdown, reefer containers made it possible to ship food, medicines, and vaccines wherever needed. Designed to carry such temperature-sensitive goods, reefers are, undoubtedly, one of the most important container types out there. 

What is a reefer container used for?

A reefer container ships goods at cold temperatures but it’s also widely used for dry cargo. Let’s look at the two contradicting uses of reefer shipping containers. 

For shipping refrigerated goods

If you’ve been to the frozen and chilled section of your grocery store, you’d have seen an assortment of food items from all over the world. From scrumptious Australian beef, creamy European cheese, exotic Indian fruits to ready-to-eat American canned food, you get them all in one place. Have you ever wondered how they make it to your neighborhood store? 

 All thanks to reefer containers! Reefers ship perishable food items that require refrigeration. Some of the most commonly shipped food items are: 

  • Meat (frozen and chilled),
  • Seafood
  • Fruits and vegetables 
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Processed food 
  • Juice and beverages
  • Wine, etc.
Temperature of goods in a reefer container

For shipping pharmaceuticals 

Drugs and pharmaceuticals are also primarily shipped in a reefer container. Pharmaceutical companies lose millions of dollars due to cold chain losses every year. Therefore, it’s necessary to preserve medicines at cold temperatures. 

And by now, we can confidently say that using a reefer container can ensure that. We’ve seen the crucial role reefers played in delivering medicines and vaccines during the pandemic. 

So, you know how reliable reefers actually are. And if you’re looking for the container type to keep your perishables fresh, then we at Inter-Continent Transport is here to help you out.



What Is Freight Forwarding?

Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another via a single or multiple carriers via air, marine, rail or highway.

The importance of freight forwarding for global trade was recognized in Canada in 1948 with the establishment of the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA). CIFFA recognized that forwarding freight, whether by land, marine, rail or air requires coordination, regulation and agreed-upon best practices to ensure that goods flow in a timely and proficient manner across borders, over seas, and throughout the world.

The Principles of Freight Forwarding

The principles of freight forwarding are premised on the efficient and cost-effective transfer of goods that are maintained in good condition throughout their travels. To accomplish this, freight forwarders become experts in managing the logistics necessary to ensure that goods arrive on time. Successful trade and shipping in expanding globalized markets means having the right tools at your disposal.

Negotiating tariffs, customs regulations and being fluent in the requirements of shipping by land, sea, rail, and air, freight forwarders manage the risks and benefits of shipping both nationally and internationally using the latest advances in information technology.

Successfully Navigating the World of Freight Forwarding

Having the knowledge and skills to navigate the regulations of freight forwarding is integral to ensuring the successful shipment and delivery of goods. Even as the knowledge of customs regulations is an important component, the successful transfer of goods through freight forwarding relies on its service industry. As such, freight forwarding depends on having the right people whose commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction ensures that goods reach their final destination in a timely and efficient manner.

Many customs brokerage firms recognize this and ensure that their most qualified personnel are available to tailor and develop a comfortable shipping experience for their clients. Negotiating the logistics and regulations of freight forwarding is a complex task; the proper import and export of goods depends on choosing a customs brokerage firm and a freight forwarder you can trust.

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What Are Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)?

Fast-moving consumer goods are products that sell quickly at relatively low cost. These goods are also called consumer packaged goods.

FMCGs have a short shelf life because of high consumer demand (e.g., soft drinks and confections) or because they are perishable (e.g., meat, dairy products, and baked goods). These goods are purchased frequently, are consumed rapidly, are priced low, and are sold in large quantities. They also have a high turnover when they’re on the shelf at the store.


  • Fast-moving consumer goods are nondurable products that sell quickly at relatively low cost.
  • FMCGs have low profit margins and high-volume sales.
  • Examples of FMCGs include milk, gum, fruit and vegetables, toilet paper, soda, beer, and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin.

IMPORTANT: Slow-moving consumer goods, which have a longer shelf life and are purchased over time, include items like furniture and appliances.

Understanding Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Consumer goods are products purchased for consumption by the average consumer. They are divided into three different categories: durable goods, nondurable goods, and services. Durable goods have a shelf life of three years or more while nondurable goods have a shelf life of less than one year. Fast-moving consumer goods are the largest segment of consumer goods. They fall into the nondurable category, as they are consumed immediately and have a short shelf life.

Nearly everyone in the world uses fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) every day. They are the small-scale consumer purchases we make at the produce stand, grocery store, supermarket, and warehouse outlet. Examples include milk, gum, fruit and vegetables, toilet paper, soda, beer, and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin.

Types of Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

As mentioned above, fast-moving consumer goods are nondurable goods, or goods that have a short lifespan, and are consumed at a fast pace.

FMCGs can be divided into several different categories, including:

  • Processed foods: Cheese products, cereals, and boxed pasta
  • Prepared meals:Ready-to-eat meals
  • Beverages:Bottled water, energy drinks, and juices
  • Baked goods: Cookies, croissants, and bagels
  • Fresh foods, frozen foods, and dry goods: Fruits, vegetables, frozen peas and carrots, and raisins and nuts
  • Medicines: Aspirin, pain relievers, and other medication that can be purchased without a prescription
  • Cleaning products:Baking soda, oven cleaner, and window and glass cleaner
  • Cosmetics and toiletries: Hair care products, concealers, toothpaste, and soap
  • Office supplies:Pens, pencils, and markers

The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry

Because fast-moving consumer goods have such a high turnover rate, the market is not only very large, it is also very competitive. Some of the world’s largest companies compete for market share in this industry including Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Danone. Companies like these need to focus their efforts on marketing fast-moving consumer goods to entice and attract consumers to buy their products.

That’s why packaging is a very important factor in the production process. The logistics and distribution systems often require secondary and tertiary packaging to maximize efficiency. The unit pack or primary package is critical for product protection and shelf life, and also provides information and sales incentives to consumers.

FMCGs are sold in large quantities, so they are considered a reliable source of revenue. This high volume of sales also offsets the low profit margins on individual sales as well.

As investments, FMCG stocks generally promise low growth but are safe bets with predictable margins, stable returns, and regular dividends.

Special Considerations

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and Ecommerce

Shoppers across the globe increasingly purchase things they need online because it offers certain conveniences—from delivering orders right to the door to broad selection and low prices—that brick-and-mortar stores can’t.

According to a 2018 report by Nielsen, the most popular goods for online purchase are related to travel, entertainment, or durable goods, such as fashion and electronics. However, the online market for groceries and other consumable products is growing, as companies redefine the efficiency of delivery logistics and shorten their delivery times. While non-consumable categories may continue to lead consumable products in sheer volume, gains in logistics efficiency have increased the use of ecommerce channels for acquiring FMCGs.1

What Are Consumer Packaged Goods?

Consumer packaged goods are the same as fast-moving consumer goods. They are items with high turnover rates, low prices, or short shelf lives. Fast-moving consumer goods are characterized by low profit margins and large sales quantities. Products that fall within this group include soft drinks, toilet paper, or dairy products, for example.

What Are 3 Types of Consumer Goods?

The three main categories of consumer goods include durable goods, nondurable goods, and services. Durable goods, such as furniture or cars, last at least three years. Often, economists will watch durable goods spending to track the health of the economy. Nondurable goods are items with a shelf life of under one year, and are consumed rapidly. Fast-moving consumer goods fall within this category. Finally, services include intangible services or products, such as haircuts or car washes. 

What Are Some of the Largest Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Companies?

Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola are among the world’s largest fast-moving consumer goods companies. Swiss-based Nestlé, for instance, operates over 2,000 brands that cover everything from vitamins to frozen foods.2 Importantly, within the fast-moving consumer goods industry, the competition for market share is high. In response, companies focus heavily on packaging not only to attract customers, but to preserve the shelf life and integrity of the product.