Reefer Trades Remain Resilient

Reefer Trades Remain Resilient

According to maritime consultancy Drewry, reefer container freight rates continue to outperform the dry cargo trade, despite an unprecedented contraction in reefer seaborne trade last year, with the pattern is expected to continue over the next few years.

Despite facing adverse factors such as weaker cargo demand, supply chain disruptions, rising input costs and normalisation in perishables cargo demand after the peaks of 2021, reefer shipping trade is recovering through 2023, supported by steady demand from a growing world population and the recovery of Asian economies, particularly the reopening of China.

This has resulted in a return to year-on-year growth on every key reefer-intensive trade route so far this year, with seaborne volumes projected to rise 1.5% by the end of 2023 and containerised reefer trade forecast to expand at 2.3%, outpacing flatlining wider container shipping cargo demand.

Looking ahead, reefer shipping is positioned to outperform the broader dry cargo trade with a projected average annual growth of 3.6% for containerised reefer trade over the years to 2027.

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