Source: Web sites of port authorities and terminal operators.
Reefer Slots Available at North American Ports
The majority of container terminals allocate some space for refrigerated containers (reefers). This represents a separate and specialized port function that requires equipment such as reefer plugs (power outlets) and labor to monitor the reefers while they are being handled at the terminal. Although the handling of reefers at ports involve additional costs, it also involve higher revenues due to the higher value of the cargo and its time sensitivity; it commands premium rates. The above map reveals two main trends concerning the availability of reefer slots by port:
  • For the major container ports such as Los Angeles / Long Beach, Seattle, Vancouver, Houston, Savannah and New York, the number of reefer slots is proportional to the amount of container traffic. This implies that the reefer business is a part of their function as commercial gateways to the North American market.
  • There are a number of smaller ports that are offering a larger number of reefer slots in relation to their total containerized traffic. This implies a level of specialization in the reefer business, either for exports (Oakland, Jacksonville, Halifax) of for imports (Wilmington, Port Everglades, Philadelphia, Hueneme).