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


Proposed US auto tariffs would have a significant negative impact on key East-West trade routes

Proposed US auto tariffs would have a significant negative impact on key East-West trade routes
Key US ports, leading global container lines and specialist car carriers will all be adversely impacted should the proposed US auto tariffs be implemented in the second quarter of 2019, according to an impact analysis published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Satisfaction survey in container transport: Shippers dissatisfied with clarity of surcharges and transit times

The level of satisfaction concerning container carriers among exporters, importers, and freight forwarders falls marginally, according to the third annual shipper satisfaction survey of Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC).

A foggy outlook for container shipping, but a brighter tomorrow still likely

The container shipping industry is facing an exceptionally high level of uncertainty, ranging from the extra cost associated with IMO 2020 and how much carriers will recover from shippers, to the possibility of a trade recession and unknown future engagement by shipowners in large vessel building programmes, according to Drewry’s latest Container Forecaster.

Second study identifies routing options and ample terminal capacity to gear-up short-sea container services, post-Brexit, to alleviate congestion through Dover

Alternative capacity could be provided by short-sea container services between the UK and EU to alleviate possible congestion at the Port of Dover post-Brexit, according to a study by global shipping consultancy Drewry.


JOC Breakbulk & Project Cargo

Susan Oatway to present the outlook for the breakbulk and project cargo shipping market.

Port Technology Container Terminal Automation Conference 2019

Neil Davidson to speak in the opening session discussing Drewry’s outlook for the sector.

Global Liner Shipping

Philippe Salles to discuss guaranteed services and prices in liner shipping, its limitations, problems and impact on the business.