Source: Drewry Shipping Consultants (2010), Reefer Shipping Market 2010/11, Drewry Publishing, London.
A 40-foot reefer costs in the range of $30,000 while a regular container costs $5,000. The main reefer commodity groups are divided into living and non-living cargo. Bananas, exotics (pineapples, kiwifruit, avocados), deciduous (apples, grapes, pears) and citrus (oranges, lemons/limes, grapefruit, others) are a part of the living group. The non-living commodities concern fish/seafood and meat (poultry, pork, beef/veal, sheep meat). The diary (cheese/curd, butter) and other groups (tomatoes, frozen potatoes, berries, melons, frozen vegetables, fresh vegetables) contain living and non-living commodities.
Making the distinction between the living and the non-living is of vital importance for transport because of the distinct temperature setup and atmosphere control they require. Living commodities will be transported under refrigerated conditions with a limited lifespan (shelf life), and non-living commodities can be frozen, resulting in a longer lifespan. Fresh products carried at temperatures around freezing point account for 48% of the reefer demand.