London, UK – Reefer container equipment availability will remain tight over the next few years which will impact shipping capacity supply and freight rates at seasonal peaks, according to Drewry’s latest Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2019/20 report, published this month.

After the dramatic halt in reefer equipment expenditure by cash-strapped shipping lines in 2016 which led to acute shortages in several regions, production of new refrigerated container equipment recovered during 2017 and continued to gather pace in 2018. Drewry expects the reefer container equipment fleet to maintain a CAGR of 4.5% over the next five years which is slightly ahead of anticipated growth in containerised cargo traffic but will not be sufficient to bring supply back into equilibrium - see chart below where 100 equates to equilibrium.

By contrast, there remains ample supply of containership reefer slot capacity on most trades, though certain routes with a high proportion of reefer cargo can experience tight space during seasonal peaks.