Drewry: Increase in reefer container freight


Drewry, maritime intelligence analysts assures that in spite of moderating the growth of reefer cargo of the perishable maritime trade, the continuous modal change will maintain the expansion in the reefer containers trade and will support the increase of the freight levels

The transport of refrigerated containers expanded by 8% in 2017, significantly higher than the growth in global trade of refrigerated cargo in general. The growth was driven mainly by the continuous change of the cargo of the specialized refrigerated fleet to the container mode.

“It is expected that this modal shift in favor of container lines will continue as the specialized fleet is further reduced,” said Martin Dixon, director of research products at Drewry, adding that the participation of the specialized sector in the trade total of 20% refrigerated containers today to only 14% by 2022.

However, the availability of refrigerated containers is the main drawback since the perishable cargo inside the countries require nearby equipment and the lines refuse to receive these units inside due to their dead time, container value and safety. On the other hand, the production of new refrigerated container equipment recovered in 2017 and it is expected that the fleet will continue to grow before cargo demand, but despite these tight supply conditions it is expected to continue.

In addition, Drewry projected freight rates increased by 3% in the six of the second third of 2018, while freight rates of containerized dry cargo fell by 14%. This shows that in spite of the wider weakness in the container transport market, reefer freight rates have been maintained, rewarding operators who have chosen to invest in this cargo segment.

Meanwhile, chartering time rates for specialized reefer vessels recovered in 2017 from last year’s lows, but since then they have been under pressure and are expected to continue.

What is expected in the future

The perishable reefer trade growth is forecast to moderate slightly over the next five years to around 3% annually, partly affected by an impending trade war between the US. UU And China, which will affect in particular the trans-Pacific trade that is dominant towards the west.

Source WMN

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