Today, the United States produces a fantastic quantity of manufactured goods, and many farms are producing huge amounts of foodstuffs. But all of those items need to be transported, and this is where carrier companies come in. The larger companies may offer ships that deliver many tons of goods to ports around the world, typically in steel shipping containers. Jets can deliver smaller loads of cargo very fast, often for midnight deliveries. And trains can carry a lot of freight at once, by land. But trains are not the only land option for deliveries; many truck companies are in operation in the United States today, and while most are small, they offer many different trucks for price-efficient deliveries. Trucks can go anywhere there’s a road, and some trucks have specialized trailers for certain cargo, such as reefer units. What is a reefer trailer? And how to choose a used reefer trailer for purchase? Finding wholesale reefer units for purchase can prove quite lucrative for many truck carrier company owners, after all.
The Business of Reefer Units
A truck reefer unit is, put simply, a truck trailer with air refrigeration units in it to cool the trailer’s interior for the sake of cold-sensitive cargo. Such trailers also feature insulation in their walls to maintain that low internal temperature. Most often, it is grocery stores who need these trailers for deliveries, such as for dairy, meats, and frozen foods. Reefer truck trailers can range from 28 to 53 feet in length, and the largest models may be up to 13.5 feet tall and weigh as much as 44,000 pounds. As for the internal temperature range, these reefers can chill their contents from -20 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the need of the cargo.
All of this adds up to a huge market, and it is still growing. In the United States alone, some 500,000 reefer trucks are in operation, and more are being ordered every year. In January 2018, to name one example, around 40,000 reefer units were ordered. Worldwide, this market weighs in at just over $5 billion, and estimates say that from 2016 to 2022, this market will hit a value of $7.65 billion. During that time frame, that market’s growth may be as high as a 4.8% CAGR. It is clear, then that any truck carrier owner who looks up “how to choose a used reefer trailer” is getting into a lucrative market, and buying one or more used reefer trailers can prove an excellent investment if done correctly. Now the question is: how to choose a used reefer trailer, such as used vs new, and how to finance them?
How to Choose a Used Reefer Trailer
The owner of a truck carrier company may decide that they need to add some reefer units to their truck fleet, so they can expand their delivery options further. To this end, they can look up “used trailer refrigeration units for sale” or “new reefer trailers for purchase nearby” and find some local results, then go inspect them in person. This is especially important for used units, which may have some wear and tear. A buyer can look over the trailer’s wheels and axles, brakes, and brake lights, and test the cooler units to ensure that they can generate and maintain all desired temperatures. New reefer trailers will be more expensive, but they are in good condition and will come with factory warrants, too, not to mention modern construction and feature standards.
As for financing, this is best done with specialized truck lending companies, since big banks are reluctant to approve loans to truck companies (they see this as very risky). A truck lender has more lenient requirements than a big bank, though they will still check a lender’s personal and credit score, and check their financial history for red flags. A lender with good credit may get as much as 100% of the trailer’s value in a loan and at a low interest rate, and even a lender with low credit may get approved, though with less favorable terms. Either way, the reefer trailer in question will act as collateral for that loan, making it a secured loan and therefore more attractive to the lender.