Reefer box capacity to rise 20% over five years

Reefer capacity available across the global container shipping fleet will increase by more than a fifth over the next five years, according to a new report from Drewry Shipping Consultants.
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, concludes Drewry’s latest Reefer Shipping Market Annual Review & Forecast.
The expansion of reefer box capacity will not impact vessel utilisation levels, however. Reefer container volumes are forecast to rise 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.
“As a result of the expected cargo growth, reefer container slot utilisation levels will be unchanged in 2015 and only marginally lower thereafter,” said Kevin Harding, the report editor. “Meanwhile, the specialised reefer sector is forecast to shrink further as a result of scrapping and a virtually empty order book.”