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


Battle for the supply chain to aide container supply-demand balance

Battle for the supply chain to aide container supply-demand balance
A shift in carrier focus away from ordering ever larger ships towards securing more of the global supply chain is expected to help improve the supply-demand balance of the container market over the next five years, according to Drewry’s latest Container Forecaster.

East-West air freight rates highest of last 4 peak seasons

Air freight rates on major East-West routes hit a 4-year high in November, according to the results of Drewry’s East-West Air Freight Rate Index.

East-West contract rates help reduce shippers’ costs

Ocean freight rates for cargoes moving under contracts on major East-West routes decreased by 7% in the fourth quarter, according to the results of Drewry’s Benchmarking Club Contract Index.

Ship operating costs reach inflection point as inflation returns

Average vessel operating costs rose modestly for the second year in succession following two years of marked declines, according to Drewry’s latest Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast.


Global Grain Asia

Drewry to present on Transport, Logistics and Freight Costs: How are terminals going to cope with the change in trade flows?

5th Mare Forum Singapore

Drewry to discuss the digital transformation of shipping and ports in a panel session.

10th Chemical & Product Tanker Conference

Hugo Finlay to provide in-depth analysis of the chemical and product tanker market fundamentals.