Kiwi Box Blog

5 Common Questions About Leasing Refrigerated Containers

Here at Kiwi Box we often have customers coming to us with very little knowledge of refrigerated containers and what services we offer. Our customers generally contact us with a refrigeration or storage problem and through a series of questions and answers we get to know them and their requirements. We then discuss their options and work towards providing a tailored and cost-effective solution that best suits their needs. Today we’d like to cover five of the most common questions we asked by those looking to lease a refrigerated container.

1. Do I need a single-phase or three-phase container?

We offer both single-phase and three-phase containers at Kiwi Box. Simply put, the difference between the two is their ability to chill or freeze the stock you are storing. A single-phase refrigerated container is cheaper to run but will not provide the same chilling or freezing power as a three-phase refrigerated container.

We recommend you go for a three-phase container if you require heavy-duty chilling or freezing, and a single-phase container if you want a cheaper option to run as a lighter-duty chiller or for storing products that are already frozen. If you’d like to get technical, geek out on the differences between single-phase and three-phase power supplies here.

2. How much does a refrigerated container cost to run per day?

The cost of running a refrigerated container depends heavily on the application it’s being used for, and as such, we can’t give one single figure. You need to ask yourself:

    – What duty will I be asking of the container?
    – What temperature is the product I’m going to store at the time of going into the container, and what temperature do I need to chill or freeze it down to? If it arrives prechilled or already frozen, it will put less demand on the container to get the product to the right temp.
    – What are the power rates where I’m going to be running my refrigerated container?It’s only with answers to these questions that you can start to estimate your daily running costs.
    – Will I be going in and out of the container all day, putting more demand on the chilling/freezing system, or will I be opening the doors only once or twice a day?

3. What’s the shortest amount of time a container can be leased for and how much will it cost?

We have a minimum lease period of one month. The cost of leasing depends on how long you will require the container… the longer you have it, the less it will cost you per day.

4. How soon can I get a refrigerated container delivered and how much will it cost?

Once we’ve discussed all your options and you’ve decided on a specific model, placed an order and signed a lease agreement, we can usually get a Kiwi Box refrigerated container on the road to you within 12 to 24 hours.

The cost of the delivery will depend on how far away from your nearest depot you are located. We always provide our customers with a delivery quote before they sign an agreement, so they can consider the cost in their budget.

5. Who will fix the leased refrigerated container in the event of a breakdown?

Part of our dedication to our customers is the 24/7 breakdown service we offer at no additional cost. Our team of highly skilled technicians carry out scheduled maintenance inspections throughout the year to prevent any potential issues before they eventuate, and in the unwelcomed event of a breakdown, we take care of all repairs.

We hope these common questions have helped you learn more about how our containers can answer your business’s refrigerated storage needs. If you’d like to learn more about what we offer and how we can be of assistance, take a look around our website and feel free to get in touch.

Posted in Kiwibox

Creasy & Co Team with Kiwi Box to Test Wine with Clinical Accuracy

International vintner, Kirsten Creasy leads a busy life splitting her time between France and Marlborough where she runs her ‘microvin’ production and testing company – Creasy & Co.

An experienced winemaker, Kirsten started Creasy & Co to meet the New Zealand wine industry’s growing demand for controlled testing of different winemaking products. “I have a number of different clients,” Kirsten explains, “they may want to test products that they’ve used in growing the fruits; commercial finings products; different yeasts; or even pesticide residue levels. They set up a trial to compare the different products and I make the wine (about 12 litres at a time) to facilitate the trial and compare results of different products they’ve used and what may be best.”

Combining a background in education, gained while working at Lincoln University, with her winemaking experience, Kirsten brings the best of the practical and scientific worlds to her work. She says, “It’s really a combination of scientific research, but done in a practical wine-making way. We’re not a science lab with white coats and safety glasses – I’m a wine maker first and foremost, who started this business when I saw a need for these small-scale wines to be produced. I’ve been able to look at it from a practical winemaking point of view, but also from a science background, knowing how to set up a significant, scientific test”


Exponential growth demands a purpose-built solution

A couple of years back, Kirsten was approached by a client experiencing a large increase in the number of microvins they needed produced. “I was working in a small office area which just didn’t work. I needed to have processes going on outside where there really weren’t the right facilities. Temperature control is one of the most critical things in winemaking, so I needed a controlled environment.”


Enter the customised Kiwi Box solution

Realising her need for more space and a controlled environment, Kirsten started laying the groundwork to procure a shipping container that would better meet her unique requirements. Some research and a Google search later she was on the phone to Greg Flynn from Kiwi Box, learning about what type of tailor-made solution they could come up with. “Greg’s been fantastic. He’s so organised, so knowledgeable and really thinks about things.”

Kirsten and Greg settled on a suitable 20ft refrigerated container that would meet her main criteria: ease of cleaning, modular shelving, security, reliable temperature control and mobility.

“It’s a great facility for winemaking because you can waterblast the stainless-steel interior to keep things clean. There’s a lot juice flying around and if you can’t clean properly you’re going to get a lot of mould growth,” Kirsten explained.

It wasn’t long before Creasy & Co reaped the benefits of a mobile workspace, either. The need arose to relocate from Christchurch to Blenheim, where Kirsten rents a space for her Kiwi Box container at an existing winery. “They (the containers) were just put on a truck and taken up there. If I had a winery site I wouldn’t have been able to do that – I need to be able to ship-in/ship-out. The winery site I’m at now – it may not be convenient in a year, so I need to be flexible. My clients are thrilled that I’m up here (in Blenheim). I get fruit flown in from Central Otago, Canterbury, Marlborough and Hawkes Bay – it’s ideal.”

The globe-trotting nature of Kirsten’s winemaking means she’s only in New Zealand running Creasy & Co for part of the year, spending the rest of her time in the Northern Hemisphere. This means she really appreciates the ‘lock-it and leave-it’ nature of the Kiwi Box refrigerated containers. “After the ferments are finished I need to be able to just lock the whole thing up with all my gear inside, and then I actually head back overseas to the rest of my life! I’m only over here in NZ for three to four months. I live in the south of France the rest of the year where I work as a commercial winemaker.”

How temperature can make or break a wine

Essential to successful fermenting of a wine is a temperature-controlled environment. Kirsten gives us the inside line on why achieving a specific temperature is so key – “Yeast like a certain temperature, if they get too cold they can stop fermenting which means you end up with a half-fermented wine, which is a fail. Or, they can start producing ‘off’ aromas if they’re stressed with a temperature that’s too high, which can flavour the wine in a negative way.”

Being able to recreate an identical production from one ferment to the next is also essential for Creasy & Co. “The most important thing about the trials is the ability to do exactly the same thing for each one, so any differences in the outcomes are true to the trial results and not in any way influenced by the winemaking process. So, for me, knowing that I have a constant temperature maintained for all of those ferments is critical.”

Living with a Kiwi Box container

The relationship between Kiwi Box and Creasy & Co got off to an aromatic start: “When Greg first sent me the container, it had been used in a chocolate factory and it just smelt divine! Then I fermented sauvignon blanc in it and it smelt like sav blanc and chocolate!”

“I’ve got one specialised container that we’ve fitted out to really suit my needs, but for harvest period I need one or potentially two extra containers with nothing in them, but still with trustworthy temperature control. I hire these for a really short period of time, and then send them back. It’s just so easy.”

Kirsten is more than satisfied with her container set-up, and with business booming her involvement with Kiwi Box doesn’t look set to slow down any time soon. “I have a four-year contract and we’re into year two. Last year I did 350 ferments, which is extraordinary considering a medium-sized winery producing about 1000 tonnes (of fruit) would probably do between 40 and 50 ferments. Obviously, mine are tiny volumes, sometimes as small as 750ml, and to do 350 is full-on. The previous year I did 80, and the year before I did 40. The process has worked so well here, I’ll probably take the same approach if I set up a similar operation in France.”

Posted in Kiwibox

The History of Refrigeration – 6 Cool Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know

Thanks to the wonderful clients we deal with here at Kiwi Box, we are well versed in the countless applications of refrigeration. At home our appreciation for refrigeration extend much further than understanding that our fridge and freezer keeps our beer cold, our vege fresh and our meat and ice cream frozen. So, let’s take an insightful trip through history and touch on some milestones in the history of refrigeration.


  1. Refrigeration prior to the refrigerator

Next time you reach in your fridge for that carafe of cool water or bottle of beer, spare a thought for those who had to think outside the icebox to get a cold drink in the days before mechanical refrigeration.

Romans would heap large quantities of snow into storage pits then cover the cooling agent with insulating materials. When they wanted a refreshing drink of water they would add some snow. Egyptians would pour boiled water into their earthen jars and expose it to the cooling night air by leaving it on their roofs. In the 17th century the French would dissolve saltpetre (potassium nitrate) in water before submersing long-neck bottles in the liquid.

  1. Commercial shipping of natural ice

In the United States, commercial ice shipping operations began out of New York City in 1799. Keen entrepreneurs Nathaniel Wyeth and Frederick Tudor turned the industry on its head in the 18th century while concentrating on shipping ice to tropic climes. They found insulating materials that reduced ice wastage from 66% to less than 8%, and invented methods of cutting uniform blocks of ice with minimal wastage and handling time.

  1. Ice gets dirty

A victim of its own success, the harvesting of natural ice was booming by 1907, with 14-15 million tonnes of ice being consumed in the States alone. The process became hazardous when sources were too often spoiled by sewage dumping and pollution.

  1. Mechanical refrigeration takes hold

In 1870, brewing companies in the northern United States began to use mechanical refrigeration to realise a uniform product. By 1891, nearly all American breweries were using refrigerating machines, and within a decade the meat-packing industry had adopted the technology. This meant animals could be taken to market year-round (not just during winter), and meat quality improved greatly as a result.

  1. The domestic refrigerator

Putting an end to the use of ice wagons, which would deliver ice to urban homes, the household refrigerator became popular in the US in 1921 with 5,000 being built. A decade later the number was more than one million, then nearly six million just six years later. After WWII, mass production of the modern household refrigerator began, and by 1950 over 90% of urban US homes had one.

  1. New Zealand’s first successful shipment of frozen meat to Britain

Closer to home, mechanical refrigeration was once the saviour of New Zealand’s economy, and perhaps the most pivotal technological advancement in the farming sector, allowing for New Zealand’s first shipment of frozen meat to be delivered to Great Britain.

On 15 February 1882, the Dunedin, an Albion Line passenger sailing ship fitted with a coal-powered freezing plant, left Port Chalmers with 5000 frozen mutton and lamb carcasses aboard. The ship arrived in London some 98 days later, with just one carcass being deemed not fit for sale.

The experimental journey helped kickstart New Zealand’s now billion-dollar meat export industry, and pulled the colony out of economic depression. But it wasn’t all plane sailing – the crew noticed the cold air in the hold wasn’t circulating while the ship was marooned in the tropics, so Captain John Whitson crawled into the tight space and sawed additional air holes, almost freezing to death. Luckily his crew were able to retrieve and successfully resuscitate him.

Posted in Kiwibox

AsureQuality Look to Kiwi Box for Smarter Storage

AsureQuality is a state-owned enterprise (SOE) ensuring ‘that the food people eat is safe right along the food supply chain’. This is achieved through auditing, inspection, farm assurance, and laboratory testing at their 140 locations spanning Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Australasia. The laboratory work requires a temperature-controlled environment in which to store samples before and after testing. An SOE dating back over 100 years, AsureQuality look to work exclusively with reputable partners capable of clinical precision. Enter Kiwi Box…


The challenge that faced AsureQuality

Heather from the Wellington branch of AsureQuality was assigned the mission of sourcing refrigerated storage structures to replace the two they were leasing.

“We were leasing two chillers to store our samples and were looking for new refrigerated containers to add to our facility,” Heather explained. “Our requirements were lighting, shelving to hold our archive boxes, and a proper freezer-style door because we were finding the container doors (on the old lease chillers) were too heavy and too hard to open – especially when they became frozen shut.”

Being an SOE and working in an industry where security and safety are paramount, Heather needed a solution that took this into consideration. “Access was very important for us – we’re very health and safety conscious. We wanted to make sure that the shelving was arranged so our staff weren’t lifting heavy items in an awkward manner or any further than necessary,” she offered.


How Kiwi Box provided a solution

Heather got in touch with Kiwi Box owner and operator, Greg Flynn, and explained her specific requirements.

Greg’s solution was a 20ft refrigerated container for AsureQuality to trial. His team were able to fit easy-open refrigerator doors, allowing easier access. The Kiwi Box team even altered the entry orientation to better suit the desired location. Heather said, “Instead of having the door on the end, we needed a freezer door on the side. So that was a change Greg made for us.”

The lifting issues were solved with fit-for-user shelfing. “We told Greg the size and weight of the boxes we needed to archive, and the shelves were bought-to-measure and met our requirements perfectly.”

Being situated in Wellington, Heather and her colleagues had strict requirements to ensure the Kiwi Box containers were prepared for an earthquake. “The boxes and shelves have been made quake-safe so they won’t fall down in the event of an earthquake, and we use a buddy system to ensure no one enters the containers alone.”

Happy customers, assured

Over the moon with the initial trial run, the partnership between Kiwi Box and AsureQuality has blossomed. Heather exclaimed, “It went from getting one (container) to trial it, then it went to two, and now we’ve got five! This happened over an 18-month to two-year period and we’ve just completed installing and fitting the last two containers from Greg.”

Heather’s words of praise for Kiwi Box are set to spread: “I’ll be meeting with the procurement manager for our Auckland branch shortly, and will pass on Greg’s details to them, and any other branches that are in need. I’d recommend Kiwi Box to anyone. They’ve been fantastic… nothing was a challenge and they fitted the work in with our schedule.”

Posted in Kiwibox

Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ) and Kiwi Box Work Together to Conserve Antarctic Artefacts

Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ) is a not-for-profit charged with the difficult task of conserving the expedition bases left behind by the early Antarctic explorers. Established in 1987 due to a growing awareness of the deterioration of these antique huts and their artefacts – the oldest dating back to 1899 – the Trust also works to inspire the next generation of explorers.

At the beginning of 2016 the Antarctic Heritage Trust had completed restoration work on four historic bases and over 18,000 artefacts. The historic bases include Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition bases at Hut Point (1902) and Cape Evans (1911), Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1908 base at Cape Royds, and Edmund Hillary’s hut at Scott Base.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Challenge

The Antarctic Heritage Trust normally carry out this restoration work at Scott Base, but a new project involving Carsten Borchgrevink’s 1899 base buildings at Cape Adare – a whopping 800km from Scott Base – required the objects to be transported to New Zealand for conservation, and back again. All the while, the artefacts needed to be stored at -15 degrees to slow deterioration and meet strict import restrictions.

This sent Lizzie Meek, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Artefact Conservation Programme Manager, searching for a vendor and a product capable of meeting their unique requirements.


The Kiwi Box Solution

Meek speaks about finding Kiwi Box and what set them apart: “We were looking for a company that could supply temp-controlled containers. We spoke to a number of different companies and felt that we had a good rapport with Greg [Flynn]. He was willing to look at our long term requirements including options for repair and maintenance of the container.”

Greg Flynn, Kiwi Box owner/operator was able to offer the Antarctic Heritage Trust a 20ft reefer container capable of maintaining the necessary -15-degree environment, along with a bi-annual maintenance schedule and a high level of backup support should the unthinkable occur.

Meek explains why the objects needed to stay frozen, “They were under an MPI [Ministry for Primary Industries] import restriction, so the idea is that they travel from Antarctica in a frozen state, and they’re stored frozen so any microorganisms they carry aren’t interacting with the New Zealand environment.” The objects were thawed and treated in an MPI permitted lab before returning to frozen storage and eventually their home in Antarctica.

A Job Well Done?

So, how did Kiwi Box perform in supplying temperature-controlled storage for this very precious cargo? “Kiwi Box were great”, Meek offered, “It was a second-hand container but it had been well-looked after and the service from Kiwi Box was top-notch – they looked after it for us.”

Meek continued, “I would recommend them as a good company to work with, especially if you’ve got an unusual one-off project.”

The partnership has led to Kiwi Box landing further work with Kiwi and American projects in the Antarctic, the word of their successful efforts with the Antarctic Heritage Trust no doubt spreading through the community.

Contact Greg to speak about your project (no matter how unique it may be), and visit to learn more about the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Watch video –  The Antartic Heritage Trust found a 118 year old painting in Antartica.


Posted in Kiwibox

7 Ways To Keep Cool With Refrigerated Shipping Containers

Christchurch company Kiwi Box are experts in the modification and adaptation of refrigerated shipping containers. Brothers, Greg and Steve Flynn are forever coming up with new ways to make these bespoke containers the coolest things their clients have ever seen!


Breaking The Ice Like Never Before

When thinking of refrigerated shipping containers, you can’t be blamed for imagining a giant, walk-in fridge like the one you find at the bottle store. Food and beverage preservation is the obvious use for these majestic fridges, but the real kings of cool are the containers used for purposes that aren’t so obvious. Here are a few to think about next time you sit down with a cold one…

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A nice little weekend project for the Kiwi Box crew!

Four For The Realists

  1. Air-conditioned Bach, Sleep-out, Office Or Workshop

You’ve probably seen the huge popularity of converting shipping containers in living and working spaces. This is great, but standard containers aren’t usually insulated, which means that without a lot of work they’ll be freezing in winter and boiling in summer. Temperature-controlled containers like the ones Kiwi Box work with feature extensive insulation, essential to their ability to maintain temperatures between -30c and +30c. They can even be split into multiple spaces, each set to a different temperature so you can have cold/warm storage separate from your living or working space.

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This monster takes container homes to the next level.


  1. Off-grid Solar Power Generator

Complementary to your secret getaway or portable office mentioned above could be your power source that helps you stay self-sufficient. The off-grid solar power set-up in the video below cranks out some serious power, and no doubt heat, too. The refrigerated container keeps the valuable equipment out of the elements and at an optimum operating temperature.

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This power container may be overkill for your bach, but you get the picture. Beam me up, Scotty.

  1. Seaweed Drying House

Kiwi Box were approached by a commercial seaweed harvester  who needed a container in which to dry their seaweed. To prepare the seaweed for export, the harvester needed the ability to control both the container’s temperature and humidity to create the optimum drying conditions.


  1. Getting To The Core Of The Problem

The USA’s National Ice Core Laboratory drilled over 1,500 metres into the Antarctic ice sheet to retrieve ice samples for important climate change research. Naturally they used 25-foot-long refrigerated shipping containers to transport the samples back to their Denver base some 1,770km away. The ice – which will help the scientists construct a 40,000-year record of the earth’s climate – is so clear it looks like a piece of glass.


Three For The Hedonists


  1. Ice Skating Rink

What better way to celebrate a kid’s birthday party or to create your very own winter wonderland than a refrigerated container converted into an ice skating rink. What are you waiting for? Get your skates on!

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  1. Curling Rink

When you’re tired and bruised from skating, a little ice maintenance is all that’s needed to turn the same container into a curling rink. With a 40ft container you could stage your own neighbourhood Winter Olympics! There may not be enough room for car curling in just the one container – perhaps that’s best left to the Russians…

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  1. Ice Sculpture Art Gallery

They say art is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re talking about ice sculpture art and its temporary nature, it may not be there for long! Wouldn’t an entire gallery of the stuff be cool (that was too easy)? How about a group of refrigerated containers, each showcasing a different work like the amazingly intricate sculptures in this clip?

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Whether you’re a realist looking for an accommodation solution or a hedonist who wants to host their own Winter Olympics or an ice art exhibit, the Kiwi Box crew can help and would love to hear what unique refrigerated shipping container project you have in mind. Drop them a line.


Posted in Kiwibox

Four Questions You Must Ask Before Buying or Leasing a Refrigerated Container

If you’re in the market for a refrigerated storage container, there are 4 essential questions that you must ask yourself before you decide which storage unit is right for you. Let’s jump right in!

1. The most important question: WHY does your business need a refrigerated shipping container?

Do you need to expand onsite storage? Do you require offsite long-term storage that isn’t accessed daily? Does your company need a refrigerated storage option that can be easily transported? Is a refrigerated unit part of a long-term business need or is it due to recent expansion or a short-term demand due to oversupply or a recent busy season?

The refrigerated storage options that are right for you will depend strongly upon your business needs. Here at KiwiBox we offer refrigerated units for both short and long term hire – starting at just $14 a day – as well as for sale.  The great news is that you can try one out through renting to see if it meets your business needs.  The even better news, we pride ourselves on our skill at adapting any refrigerated unit for any situation.

2. WHAT is the product you are storing?

What temperature does your product need to be kept at and why?  This will help you make decisions regarding the specific temperature the refrigerated unit needs to be maintained at.  All our units are in prime shape to operate with temperatures in the range of -30 degrees Celsius to +30 degrees Celsius to match your needs.

You can also rest assured that here at KiwiBox we take our clients’ needs very seriously.  We have a 24/7 breakdown service and we strive to be there within the hour should a problem arise.  Once a year we travel across the South Island to personally inspect all our units out on lease.

3. HOW is the product stored?

Thinking about how the product is stored – in boxes, pallets, on shelves or in bottles – will also help you determine how much space you may need.  Will the product be accessed daily or monthly?  How can you and your staff easily access and assess the inventory stored in the container?

We offer both 20-foot and 40-foot shipping containers so we can scale to your needs.  With our rental programme, you can upgrade to a larger unit should you need more space.

We also customize units to fit your specific needs – we’ve never thought that a one-solution-fits-all makes sense for our customers! We’ve built customised units for a variety of businesses including LSG SkyChefs, Kono Seafood Processing Plant, Heinz Watties and Mao Brewing Company to name a few.

4.  How do you plan to access your product and what power can you provide?

These shouldn’t be thought of as minor details!  Will you be moving your product in and out by hand, or using machinery?  Asking these questions will help you determine if the container should be on the ground or at dock level. Regarding power, do you have access to 3-phase or 1-phase?  We can provide containers that work with both power supplies, but it is important to know as there are unique advantages to both.

Here to help

More questions?  Get in touch.  We are a family-owned company with over 23-years of experience in the sector with qualified refrigeration engineers as our founders.  Our customers span hundreds of industries and there is no need too small or challenge too big for us to handle!


Posted in Kiwibox

Ensuring That Refrigerated Containers Function Optimally With Routine Servicing and Maintenance

Maintenance and servicing is an aspect that is often overlooked by people who are in the market for a refrigerated storage unit. If you are leasing or purchasing a refrigerated container, it’s important that you understand that the unit is far more than a shipping container. It’s better to think of it as a large appliance that requires routine maintenance and servicing in order to ensure that it continues to operate properly and provides you with adequate temperature control.



Kiwi Box offer routine maintenance of our leased units

If a refrigerated shipping container fails, the loss of product can have a severe impact on the business’s profitability for the year. We want our customers to know they can trust the equipment we provide to them. In order to ensure the reliability of our refrigerated containers while they are out on hire, we ensure that all our chillers and freezer containers are fully serviced before they are hired out and then conduct routine, onsite servicing of the units for as long as they are out. Our pre-hire service includes a full inspection of the electrics, power lead and plug, as well as fitting a current COC electrical certificate that states the lead is safe to use.

In the Canterbury region, we have a maintenance programme for all leased containers. One of our technicians will come out every six months to inspect and service the refrigeration system and electrics to ensure they will continue to be reliable for present and future customers. For the rest of the South Island, we make a visit once a year to examine the containers, write a report and issue a new COC electrical certificate.

We do all of this at no extra cost to our customers. It’s all about keeping our containers running smoothly and providing that extra layer of assurance to our clients. We have found that this servicing programme pays off in the long run because it keeps our containers in good working order and minimises occurrences of costly breakdowns.

Purchasing a second-hand refrigerated container

Many of our customers are interested in purchasing a used refrigerated container, rather than leasing one. We offer a wide variety of used shipping containers, all of which have had a thorough inspection and servicing to ensure they will provide reliable service to their new owners. If you’re considering a used refrigerated container, we advise you to view the maintenance and servicing records. We recommend against purchasing from someone who is unwilling to share these records with you.

You should also consider having a refrigeration engineer inspect the container before purchasing. The engineer will seek to determine the following:

  • Does the container have a good condenser? The condenser is like the radiator in your car. If it is corroded and has fins missing, it will overheat on a hot day. This puts stress on the compressor, as it has to operate at very high pressures.
  • Is the compressor pumping correctly? A badly worn compressor may be pumping refrigerant at half of its capacity, which means the container will have to run many more hours to maintain a cool temperature, thus increasing the unit’s energy consumption.
  • Are the inside evaporator fan motors and outside fan motors noisy? If so, they may eventually seize and the motor windings will burnout. This can be very costly to repair and translates to downtime for the customer.
  • Are the defrost heaters working and not down to earth? This means that when they go on defrost, they will trip out the earth leakage circuit breaker on the main power board.
  • Does the motor, compressor, main power lead, power plug and all electrical equipment read correctly? If there are low readings, this could indicate potential problems in the future.
  • Are there any holes in the roof of the container? Holes that have been around for any length of time will allow water to soak into the roof insulation. This liquid is impossible to remove and causes the refrigeration plant to run many more hours than it would otherwise need to.
  • Are the container’s doors easy to open and close? Are the door seals in good working order? Door and seal issues can translate to unnecessarily large power bills.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the second hand refrigerated containers that we sell and lease. If you buy a used refrigerated shipping container from Kiwi Box, you don’t have to worry about any of these issues because our team goes through great lengths to ensure that our boxes are in full working order before they are sold or leased. Please contact us today to learn more!



Posted in Kiwibox

5 Business That Can Benefit from Refrigerated Storage Containers

There are a variety of businesses that can benefit from our refrigerated units, which can be customised to suit most applications. Our reliable, airtight seals and temperature regulation controls ensure the safety of your products while allowing you to take advantage of power-saving technology with three-phase containers. They can be installed anywhere on your premises and, if you move, they can move with you! In today’s post, I’m going to tell you about 5 business types that I think can really benefit from refrigerated shipping containers.

1 – Vineyards and wineries

Here in New Zealand our grapes are often refrigerated after they are harvested and refrigerated shipping containers provide a quick, accessible onsite solution at the very first stage in the wine making process. For the finished product it is critical that wine be stored and transported in temperature-controlled facilities. Wine can be affected by light, oxygen and temperature changes. And what better way to keep the valuable finished product safe from theft than in an airtight, climate controlled unit with a customised locking unit.

Refrigerated shipping containers can even be turned into wine cellars as Abbott Miller of the American design company illustrated in Food&Wine. In 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the shipping container, he kitted a container out with wine racks and furniture for guests, then buried it in the hillside. In doing so, he hoped to challenge the ‘high culture’ associations of wine tasting.


Pharmaceutical Companies

There are many life-saving medications that are required to be stored and shipped at controlled and lower temperatures. Following production, these medicinal products need to be stored and shipped at lower than ambient temperatures to preserve quality and stay in compliance with strict guidelines. Some cold chain items, such as vaccines, insulin, and products derived from blood or plasma, can be classified as particularly high risk because they are at not just susceptible to elevated temperatures but at risk from freezing. The mobility of a refrigerated shipping container is key for shipping the goods while the design of a larger walk in unit on site makes filling orders and organising stock efficient.


Due to the invention of the refrigerated shipping container florists can design arrangements and fill orders with a staggering array of options no matter the season or location. It is well known that flowers and plants begin to decline in quality as soon as they are cut, but keeping flowers cold during transport places them in a state of suspended animation. Flowers have tiny, intricate veins that carry moisture to the petals through the sap, by slowing this down this respiration process by storing them at one degree above freezing will expand their lifespan three times.

Our customised and adaptable shipping containers can also be fit within a florist’s shop, prolonging the product through humidity and temperature control. Other creative uses have seen shipping containers turned into temperature-controlled greenhouses, potting sheds and prize-winning displays at flower shows.

Festivals and street celebrations

This fast growing and dynamic field is undergoing changes where the strategic employment of refrigerated shipping container can solve logistical issues while transforming the appearance of an event. With more events in unexpected places and celebrations spanning several days having a refrigerated shipping container fit out to serve as various temporary venues from ticket offices, food stations, stages and sleeping quarters allows festivals to take the experience to another level.

The basic modular design and robust structure of shipping containers have made them popular with architect’s the world over – and with the insulation of a refrigerated unit that can provide comfortable, controllable zones the possibilities seem endless. Week long events can provide adequate food and beverage storage, no matter the location through mobile refrigerated units all with little impact on the environment. These same units can be converted into mobile bars and restaurants as well as places to house staff and guests. The shipping containers can be converted to the facilities needs, delivered, then packed up after the event all without leaving a trace.



Restaurants face a number of increased costs and one way to control them is purchasing food in bulk. A refrigerated shipping container can provide an easier and more cost effective solution for storing bulk food than a cold storage unit hundreds of kilometres away. Our containers offer an elegant solution to tackling the necessity of storing poultry, game, meat and seafood at different requirements while preserving freshness and flavour. Another handy feature of having a refrigerated storage container is the flexible ability to grow your restaurant because you can quickly add more space, making it easy to locate and move products as necessary.

In one of our previous posts, we discussed how farming solutions inside shipping containers also offer a unique way for restaurants to grow certain herbs and vegetables onsite, offering their guests a truly unique dining experience.

We’re here to help!

Whatever your commercial refrigeration needs are, KiwiBox refrigerated containers are perfect for storing and transporting your products in a temperature controlled environment. With over fifteen years industry experience, we can provide you with customised solutions to suit your unique needs. Contact us to discuss how you can best use a KiwiBox refrigerated container for permanent or temporary commercial refrigeration.



Grapes by tribp, CC BY 2.0

Inhabitat by TRANSported at Brookfield Plaza, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Posted in Kiwibox

Avoiding Spoilage & Refreezing in Cold Storage Containers

The use of a refrigerated shipping container, like the ones we offer at Kiwi Box, is one of the best methods ensuring the integrity of your products. Our customised units can be used to keep products at a specific temperature to lengthen their lifespan, prevent spoilage and ensure they are always ready when you or your customers need them!

That being said, improper use of your cold storage unit can lead to common storage problems like spoilage and refreezing. In today’s article, I’m going to share my best practices on preserving food in cold storage units. By taking a few minutes to read this article, you can avoid the stress and financial loss that can occur when proper cold storage techniques are not used.

Be strict about stock rotation

In order to ensure that goods don’t get lost in the back of your storage unit, I recommend sticking to a “first in, first” out system. This system requires that older products, which are closer to their expiration date, are moved to the front or brought out of cold storage before new products are added to the unit.


Be diligent with temperature regulation

Most losses occur within 24 hours, which means you have a small window of time to detect and address a problem before all is lost. Make it part of your routine to regularly check the temperature of your cold storage unit. By doing this, you’ll be immediately aware of any temperature fluctuations that could damage your products. It’s much more cost effective to deal with a temperature problem in a timely manner than write off a lot of spoiled goods.

Install a temperature alarm

Better yet, invest in temperature alarms that will automatically alert you when the temperature in your cold storage unit goes above or below your specified range. This technology can provide some extra peace of mind. Just don’t forget to have your system maintained and checked at regular intervals to ensure it is working as intended!

Maintain proper volume

You need to know exactly how much volume your unit can handle. An over-packed unit cannot maintain an even temperature throughout. With an over-packed unit, you cannot be assured that your goods will be safe for sale or distribution. Know your volume limits and stick to them!

Use appropriate packaging

Goods that have not been packaged appropriately are more likely to experience freezer burn or contaminate other products in your refrigerated shipping container. Packaging is something that should be taken seriously – don’t cut corners or try to run things on the cheap.


Call in the experts!

I’ve saved my best piece of advice for last. When in doubt, reach out! At Kiwi Box, we have helped hundreds of customers prolong the shelf life of their products with our cold storage shipping containers. During this time, we’ve learned just about every trick in the book and we’re always happy to share our knowledge. If you’re in doubt about how you’re storing food or just want to make sure you’re doing it the best way possible, please contact us today. Our friendly team is happy to field your questions and give you pointers on any aspect of cold storage.



Frozen lives by Marra Taqos, CC BY 2.0

Winter freshness by Sergey Kukota, CC BY-SA 2.0

Posted in Kiwibox
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