Global reefer capacity across the containership fleet is set to grow by over a fifth, around 22 %, over the next few years, a report from Drewry Shipping Consultants says.
“A declining specialised reefer fleet will see its capacity gradually be replaced by reefer box capacity, which is expected to grow 22% from 1.6 million 40ft slots in 2013 to 1.9 million slots in 2018,” Drewry explains.
Reefer container volumes are forecast to increase by 20.5 million tonnes over this period, 16.5 million tonnes by organic growth and 4 million tonnes at the expense of the shrinking specialised reefer vessel sector.
However, the expansion of reefer box capacity will not impact vessel utilisation levels, as Drewry predicts “reefer container slot utilisation levels to be unchanged in 2015 and only marginally lower thereafter.”
“Meanwhile, the specialised reefer sector is forecast to shrink further as a result of scrapping and a virtually empty order book.”
Based on Drewry’s estimates the worldwide seaborne perishable reefer trade grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the 10 years to 2013, totaling in 98mt last year.
World Maritime News Staff, August 13, 2014