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Purchasing a Used Reefer Trailer

While the United States is home to a massive manufacturing sector, all those goods (and food too) needs to be transported. This is where the freight carrier industry comes in, and carrier companies offer vehicles such as jets, trains, ships, and semi trucks to deliver goods both domestically and internationally. Jets are useful for making expedited deliveries and flying over any terrain, while ships handle most of the world’s trade by ocean. Meanwhile, most carrier companies in the United States are on the smaller side, and they can’t afford a cargo jet or ship. But they can operate a small fleet of semi trucks, and that will include reefer units, too. But what is a reefer trailer, anyway, and how can a carrier company’s owner choose a used reefer for purchase? Finding used Thermo King refrigeration units, for example, requires some expertise for finances and assessing the trailer’s condition. To buy a reefer trailer, some steps should be followed.

About Reefer Trailers

Whether a company owner is looking to choose a used reefer or a brand new one, it is important to note that this is a large industry, and could prove profitable for a carrier company. A reefer truck trailer is one with air conditioner and other cooler units built into it, and they can chill the interior from 70 degrees to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the needs of the cargo. These reefers also typically have insulation in their walls to help maintain the internal temperature. Such reefer units may vary in size, from 28 feet to 53 feet long, and the largest of them may be up to 13.5 feet long and weigh as much as 44,000 pounds. When a carrier company owner wants to choose a used reefer, they can perform an inspection to see how large it is and how much it can carry, and check the hardware for any damage or wear and tear (from the cooler units to the wheels and axles). To choose a used reefer, the buyer may test several of them and see which one can generate and maintain the desired temperatures most effectively.

This is a large business, and it’s still growing. As of now, around 500,000 reefer units are in operation across the United States, and more and more are being ordered all the time. Around the world, the reefer trailer market is expanding, and a CAGR of 4.8% if expected from 2016 to 2022. Estimates say that this market may reach a value of $7.65 billion by the year 2022, and reefers are typically used to transport cold food and other goods to and from grocery stores. Most nations today stock cold items in various grocery stores, such as meat, dairy, frozen foods, and the like. In ordinary truck trailers, those items would spoil, but not in a reefer. Such trucks often visit warehouses and grocery stores that have refrigeration rooms in them to keep those goods cold.

Financing a Trailer

A truck carrier fleet’s options may expand to include grocery stores when the owner purchases one or more reefer trailer. To choose a used reefer, the owner may (as mentioned above) carefully look over some gently used models for sale and choose one in good condition. Or, if possible the company owner may look for new units, which are more expensive but will also be in perfect condition (and may include innovative new features).

Either way, some money borrowing may be necessary. Reefers and trucks cost a lot, and big banks are often reluctant to lend to small companies like these. So, a buyer may turn to specialized lenders who often work with truck companies. This lender will asses the borrower’s personal and business credit score alike, and will also check for red flags such as delinquent loan payments in the past or previous bankruptcy cases. In favorable circumstances, the borrower may borrow as much as 100% of the reefer truck’s value in a loan, and pay only a modest interest. Borrowers with worse credit scores may still get a loan, though with less favorable terms. Either way, the truck and trailer may act as collateral, making the loan secure and thus more appealing to the lender.

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