Containers continue to grab reefer market share
A growing percentage of reefer cargo will be carried in containers rather than specialized reefer ships, according to a new report from Drewry Shipping Consultants.
World trade in refrigerated cargo is forecast to increase from 108.6 million tons in 2005 to 156.2 million tons in 2015, according to the London-based firm.
In a new report on the reefer trade, Drewry notes that the specialized reefer fleet has declined from 880 vessels at the beginning of 1999 to 791 vessels at the beginning of this year while reefer container capacity has increased.
The existing container fleet provides 1.05 million TEUs of reefer capacity, offering about 1.05 billion cubic feet of reefer capacity, compared to 290 million cubic feet of underdeck space in reefer ships.
The report predicts “the stagnation — and eventual reduction of the specialized reefer fleet” while container capacity will continue to grow over the next three to four years.
“Cargo volumes are forecast to increase, and while this will inevitably lead to a reduction in market share for the specialized reefer vessels, it may not result in a reduction in actual tonnaged carried by the specialized reefer fleet,” Drewry said.