Dual effect of equipment shortages and carrier consolidation points to further spot rate increases in the perishable cargo sector
A slowdown in reefer box manufacturing over the past year has created a shortage of readily available units.
A LOOMING reefer container equipment shortage and ongoing consolidation in the ownership structure in the upper echelons of the container shipping sector is expected to continue to drive up reefer container freight rates over the next year.
In a webinar on Tuesday morning, analysts Drewry said that production figures for new reefer units in 2017 would not be much greater than last year, when a historically low level of manufacturing prompted a temporary shortage in empty reefer box containers and with it a surge in reefer rates, as shippers scrambled to fulfil cargo consignments globally.
According to Drewry’s container census and leasing report, the global production of new reefer box equipment was as low as around 80,000 teu last year, representing the lowest newbuilding volumes since 2009.
“Any production figure lower than 100,000 teu represents a fairly weak newbuilding market,” said Drewry’s senior reefer market analyst Kevin Harding.
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