Report: Reefer container outlook strong, while specialised vessels on the decline

September 27, 2017 Angelo Blom

Specialised reefer vessels are slowly going the way of the dodo as container shipping lines are increasing their share of the seaborne reefer market and are forecast to accelerate this over the coming years, according to the latest edition of the Reefer Shipping Market Review and Forecast 2017/18 published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Last year, an estimated 79% of perishable reefer cargo was carried in containerships, while 21% was carried in specialised reefers. But, by 2021, Drewry forecasts this split to change to close to 85% in containerships to 15% in specialised ships.

One development this year the report noted was specialised reefer operator Seatrade teaming up with CMA CGM to provide a weekly sailing between Europe and Australasia. However, it is too early to determine if this will set a trend for the industry.

The seaborne reefer industry in general is expected to continue growing, with Drewry predicting seaborne reefer cargo to increase by an average of 2.8% per year and by 2021, exceeding 134m tonnes.

The Drewry report pointed out that one area to watch is the potential lack of reefer container equipment. A lack of recent investment has already led to shortages in Europe and Brazil during the second quarter of 2017. The report says this situation is likely to repeat itself, as a lack of container equipment orders placed in 2017 so far is a concern.

Drewry report editor Kevin Harding said the reefer sector continues to report strong cargo growth which is very encouraging for vessel operators.

“However, the transition from the specialised operators to the reefer containership operators is gaining momentum,” he said.


About the Author

Angelo Blom

Logistics Consultant bij ControlPay BV. Global Freight Audit

Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Angelo Blom
Previous Article
10 Fintech opportunities for sound financial management | Featured |

This infographic highlights 10 feasible solutions to ensure a healthy financial process.

Next Article
Spot Shipments - Trans-Pacific rates declined as result of 'extra­loader' vessels
Spot Shipments - Trans-Pacific rates declined as result of 'extra­loader' vessels

Spot rates in the eastbound Pacific declined 7 percent to the East Coast and 6 percent to the West Coast th...

The widest range of Freight Audit services available in the market today


Type in your corporate email address to subscribe to our latest hub updates

Last Name
First Name
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!