Offshore Reefer Container Test

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Like all products, they must go through a series of tests to ensure the safety and usability of the consumers.

Type approval of a container involves the construction and testing of a prototype built according to the approved drawings.

It must also use the same materials as proposed for normal production.

Some of these tests include:

  • Four-point lift using all pad eyes
  • Two-point lift test using opposed pad eyes
  • A vertical impact test
  • A tilt test
  • Tanks for dangerous cargoes shall, in addition, be tested with all the requirements of the IMDG code

How is an offshore reefer container reviewed?

Design Review

The documents submitted with the application will be reviewed by an American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) engineer. The engineer will then evaluate the design with the right requirements.

Those requirements must be in line with :

  • rules
  • regulations
  • standards

If successful, an ABS review letter with test agenda will be sent to indicate that the design meets the requirement.

The prototype test agenda will be provided only after all the review items are addressed accordingly.

The design of the reefer container is not approved until the prototype test is conducted in the presence of an ABS Surveyor following the prototype test agenda specified by ABS.

How is an offshore reefer container produced?


  1. Upon a successful design review, prototype test, and quality assessment, the manufacturing facility may begin production under the surveillance of an ABS Surveyor.
  2. The ABS Surveyor will initially request a meeting to discuss inspection schedules, hold points, and other related items.
  3. The Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) and Welder Qualifications will be reviewed and approved by the ABS Surveyor before production.
  4. Production testing is to be carried out in the presence of an ABS Surveyor or a quality representative nominated by the manufacturer as indicated in the ABS-approved quality document.
  5. The Surveyor is to “walk the production line” during each attendance to verify that the quality system continues to function properly.
  6. The below documents are to be presented to the ABS Surveyor at the time of final inspection in an as-built dossier to support the certification of the offshore container. The documents are to include but are not limited to the following:
  • Material certificates
  • Material Traceability Reports (MTR) for the primary structure
  • Fabrication inspection reports
  • Dimensional control reports
  • Nondestructive Testing (NDT) reports
  • Production testing reports
  • Pressure testing records

How are offshore reefer containers certified?

ABS Production Certificate An ABS Production Certificate will be issued by the Surveyor following a successful review of the as-built dossier and final inspection.

Additionally, the certificate will reference the ABS engineering approval letter and prototype test certificate. These are applicable to the design of the containers. Next, we will be going through the types of tests for an offshore reefer container.


In conclusion, we have talked about how offshore reefer containers are tested and list a few types of tests that come along with them.

We have also discussed how offshore reefer containers are reviewed as well as how they are certified.

These are a few common questions on how offshore reefer containers are tested.

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