Guidelines on carrying cargo in non-operating reefer containers
The use of reefer containers to carry NOR cargo requires careful evaluation to avoid damage to the NOR cargo from operation of the reefer machinery and costly damage to the reefer container, which could in turn affect future reefer cargoes.
When there is insufficient temperature-controlled cargo for a return leg of a voyage, container operators may use reefer containers in a non-operating mode to carry approved dry cargo on the return leg. This type of cargo is known as non-operating reefer (NOR) cargo and is approved for packing into refrigerated containers for transportation without the refrigeration machinery being switched on.
As reefer containers differ from general purpose containers in both design and materials careful planning is necessary in the approval and packing of NOR cargoes.
Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) has published a set of detailed guidelines on the carriage of cargo in non-operating reefer containers. The guidelines are intended to assist container operators in the correct use of reefer containers when loaded with cargo that does not require the reefer container to be operational.
The International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) is an Advisory Member of CINS and many IG clubs are also members of CINS. The International Group encourages container line members to enquire about CINS membership, the main purpose of which is to highlight and address risks posed by certain cargoes and/or packing failures in order to improve safety in the liner shipping industry.
Source: GARD (http://www.gard.no/web/updates/content/23842299/guidelines-on-carrying-cargo-in-non-operating-reefer-containers)