Share of Refrigerated Transport Capacity in Maritime Shipping, 1980-2017

Share of Refrigerated Transport Capacity in Maritime Shipping, 1980-2017

Source: Adapted from Drewry Shipping Consultants.

The maritime transport of refrigerated goods has experienced a paradigm shift in recent decades. While in 1980 33% of the refrigerated transport capacity in maritime shipping was containerized, this share rapidly climbed to 47% in 1990, 68% in 2000 and 72% in 2013. This implies that the traditional refrigerated ships have been replaced by reefers using conventional container ships, the majority of which have power outlets able to accommodate reefers. Also, small specialized container reefer ships have also been designed to carry reefers in high demand markets, particularly for produce and fruits. These ships are of smaller sizes, around 500 and 1,800 TEUs that have the advantage of offering point to point services at a high speed. Such a shift is also indicative of the change of ports of call as the refrigerated trade, such as the banana trade, usually services smaller specialized ports.