Drewry’s Projections for Growth and Container Rates

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The reefer trade has demonstrated resilience and gradual recovery, contrasting with broader container shipping trends.The drewry news source.

  • Reefer cargo demand steadily rebounds in 2023, buoyed by global population growth and Asian economic recovery.
  • Reefer container freight rates decline moderately, driven by annual contracts and resilient trade routes.
  • Reefer shipping is set to outperform broader dry cargo trade, with projected annual growth and sustained rates.

Reefer Trade Resilience and Recovery

Reefer cargo trade experienced a gradual normalization and freight rate correction compared to wider container shipping.Despite challenges, reefer demand rebounded steadily in 2023 due to global population growth and Asian economic recovery, resulting in year-on-year growth on key trade routes.Seaborne reefer volumes are expected to rise by 1.5% by the end of the year, while containerized reefer trade is forecasted to expand at 2.3%, outpacing broader container shipping cargo demand.

Reefer Container Freight Rates and Trends

Reefer container freight rates declined since their peak in 3Q22, but the decline was more gradual than dry freight rates due to annual contracts and resilient North-South trade routes.Despite corrections, reefer container freight rates are still 60% above pre-pandemic levels, while dry cargo pricing has reached parity.Reefer shipping has gained market share driven by container equipment availability and port congestion normalization, with a projected average annual growth of 3.6% for containerized reefer trade until 2027.

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