Maritime Research

Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2018/19

Annual Review and Forecast

August 2018

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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 including freight rate development.



Drewry provides extensive analyses on 10 main commodity classes totalling over 30 different commodities. The classes are; Bananas, Citrus, Deciduous, Exotics, Fish / Seafood, Meat / Poultry, Dairy, Pharma, Cut Flowers and Confectionary - as well as other commodities such as tomatoes, frozen potatoes and fresh & frozen vegetables.


On the supply side Drewry has detailed coverage of both the container sector and specialised sector, with an emphasis on the former given that the vast majority of refrigerated seaborne cargo is now containerised.


Trade and Commodities

  • Development of worldwide trade by commodity and region
  • Bilateral trade flows by commodity
  • Estimated seaborne trade by commodity
  • Forecast trade of perishable reefer cargoes by commodity to 2022
  • Forecast trade of seaborne perishable reefer cargoes by commodity to 2022 – including modal split between containerised and non-containerised reefer cargo

Reefer Containership fleet

  • Containership fleet & reefer slot capacity forecasts
  • Refrigerated container equipment fleet forecasts including availability analysis
  • Top 12 reefer container shipping operators analysed by fleet size, newbuildings and age profile, as well as operating strategies
  • Analysis of trends in carrier concentration following the recent spate of M&A
  • Financial overview of the container shipping industry

Specialised fleet

  • Analysis of future capacity development including newbuildings and recycling levels
  • Profiles of specialised reefer shipping companies operating containerships
  • Analysis of charter market development

Reefer Shipping Market

  • Reefer container freight rate trends & analysis
  • Trade route analysis of the top 6 reefer trades including cargo demand forecasts, reefer slot capacity development, carrier concentration, port connectivity and freight rate development on the following routes:
    • Westbound Transpacific
    • North Europe to Asia
    • Asia to North Europe
    • Mediterranean to Asia
    • Europe to Middle East
    • East Coast South America to Europe
  • Benchmark reefer container freight rates by trade route
  • Forecast development of reefer market supply/demand to 2022 by mode (container vs specialised)


  • Network of direct port calls served by container carriers for each trade route
  • Containership capacity analyses for Oceania, East Coast South America, West Coast South America, South Africa and West Africa trade lanes

More Information

Fast facts:

  • Comprehensive all-areas, global analysis
  • Five-year commodity trade forecasts by region
  • Analysis of trends in carrier concentration following the recent spate of M&A
  • Detailed carrier profiles including analysis of differing liner company strategies with regard to reefer operations
  • Detailed analysis of the top six reefer container trade routes, including supply-demand development, carrier concentration, port connectivity and reefer freight rate evolution
  • Assessment of the impact of containerised reefer market on the sector
  • Tables, charts and graphs provided in Excel format


Reefer container trade expansion to support freight rates

Reefer container trade expansion to support freight rates
Despite moderating perishable seaborne trade growth, continued modal shift will sustain expansion in the containerised reefer trade and so support freight rate development, according to Drewry’s latest Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2018/19 report.

Container terminal utilisation levels set to rise... trade wars permitting

The medium term outlook for global container port demand growth is positive thanks to strong underlying economic momentum across the world’s major economies, according to Drewry’s latest Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review and Forecast.

Challenges and opportunities for the global port and shipping industry

Presentation given by Neil Davidson, Drewry Senior Analyst Ports and Terminals at the China Maritime Day Forum, 11 July 2018.

Higher container equipment prices to squeeze leasing rate returns

Container equipment rental rates and cash investment returns remain weak, despite last year’s recovery, according to Drewry’s latest Container Census & Leasing annual.


IMPA London 2018

Join Drewry to hear on our latest insights into the findings from our Ship Operating Costs report.

Project Cargo Summit

Susan Oatway to discuss the heavy lift and MPV shipping markets.

Container Ports webinar briefing: Where have all the greenfields gone?

Join us at 0900 or 1600 BST on Tues, 18 Sept 2018 to find out more on our latest research covering the container ports and terminals market. The session will be hosted by Neil Davidson, Senior Analyst in Drewry’s Ports and Terminals practice and Martin Dixon, Director - Head of Research Products at Drewry. Both executives will be available to take questions following a short 20 minute presentation.