Expansion in container reefer trade will be sustained by continued modal shift

According to the latest Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast by global shipping consultancy Drewry, continued modal shift will sustain expansion in the containerized reefer trade despite moderating perishable seaborne trade growth.

Global seaborne reefer trade continues to expand, posting a gain of over 5% in 2017 to 124 million tonnes, a big improvement on trend growth over the past 10 years of 3.6% a year. Underpinning this progress was strong growth in banana, meat and fish trades.

Drewry estimates that containerized reefer traffic expanded by 8% in 2017, outpacing the growth in overall seaborne reefer trade. Driving this acceleration has been the continued shift of cargo from the declining specialised reefer fleet to the container mode.

“This modal shift in favour of container shipping lines is expected to continue as the specialised fleet shrinks further,” said Drewry’s director of research products Martin Dixon. “Indeed the specialised sector’s share of total seaborne reefer trade is forecast to fall from 20% today to just 14% for 2022, with container lines picking up the slack.”

Source: Drewry

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