Maritime Research

Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2020/21

Annual Review and Forecast

August 2020

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Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast

Annual review of the reefer shipping market

This annual report provides in-depth analysis and forecasts of the perishable reefer shipping market, covering key commodity flows, fleet capacity development for the two principle vessel modes, as well as detailed market analysis by individual trade lane including freight rate development.


Trade and commodities

Drewry provides a complete assessment of the worldwide perishable reefer trade, with a particular focus on seaborne traffic, including extensive analysis of 15 main commodity classes covering 40 different products. The classes are: Meat / Poultry, Bananas, Fish / Seafood, Fresh Vegetables, Deciduous, Citrus, Exotics, Dairy, Frozen Potato Products, Confectionery, Frozen Vegetables, Melons & Berries, Pharmaceuticals, Frozen Fruit / Juices, and Cut Flowers.

  • 10-year time series of total and seaborne reefer trade by commodity
  • 5-year forecasts of total and seaborne reefer trade by commodity class
  • Seaborne reefer trade modal shares between containerships (tonnes and feu), specialised reefer ships and tankers by commodity class and trade route, with 5-year forecasts
  • Bilateral trade flows by commodity
  • Detailed analysis and forecasts for each of the 15 commodity classes, including breakdown by commodity, top exporting regions / countries and trends by trade route

Reefer shipping capacity

On the supply side Drewry has detailed coverage of both the containership and specialised reefer vessel segments.

  • Containership reefer plug capacity development by vessel size and 5-year forecasts
  • Refrigerated container equipment fleet development, 5-year forecasts, availability projections and regional imbalance assessments
  • Smart reefer container fleet assessment and 5-year forecasts
  • Profiles of the top 12 containership reefer operators, including plug capacity and reefer container equipment fleet development, as well as operating strategies
  • Specialised reefer fleet capacity development by vessel size and 5-year forecasts
  • Profiles of the top 8 specialised reefer ship operators, including fleet profile, orderbook and operating strategies
  • Operating cost assessments and 5-year forecasts for specialised reefer vessels

Reefer shipping market

Analysis of trends and forecasts for the global reefer shipping market covering each to the two principal modes of containerships and specialised reefer vessels.

  • Reefer trade development by mode and trade route
  • Reefer container freight rate trends
  • Specialised reefer vessel charter rate trends and 5-year forecasts
  • Modal competition and supply/demand outlook

Trade route analysis

Detailed analysis and forecasts of the top 15 reefer trades including: trade development by mode (tonnes and feu); key commodities and seasonality profiles; reefer shipping capacity and service development by mode; and freight rate development. This insight is provided for the following trade routes:

  • North America to Asia
  • North Europe to Asia
  • North Europe to North America
  • Europe to Middle East
  • Mediterranean to Asia
  • East Coast South America to Asia
  • East Coast South America to Europe
  • Southern Africa to Europe
  • Southern Africa to Asia
  • West Coast of South America to Europe
  • West Coast of South America to Asia
  • Oceania to North Europe
  • Oceania to Asia
  • Central America and Caribbean to North America
  • Central America and Caribbean to North Europe

More Information

Fast facts:

  • Comprehensive all-areas, global analysis and forecasts
  • Five-year trade forecasts by commodity, mode and trade route
  • Five-year shipping capacity forecasts by mode, including reefer plug and container equipment availability, as well as specialised reefer vessel capacity
  • Profiles of the top 12 reefer container shipping lines and top 8 specialised reefer vessel operators
  • Trade route analysis of the top 15 reefer trades including cargo demand forecasts, reefer plug capacity development, specialised reefer vessel capacity and freight rate development
  • Reefer shipping market trends and forecasts, including modal share development and freight rate outlook
  • Tables, charts and graphs provided in Excel format


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