Freight rates for refrigerated containers will remain firm in 2022
November 3, 2021: Refrigerated container freight rates are expected to be higher through 2022, beating earlier estimates as well as expectations for dry container freight rates, according to Drewry, an independent shipping consultancy.
Reefer traffic is expected to recover from stagnation in 2020, Drewry said in his Reefer Shipping Forecaster report, and added that slots for container ships remain scarce amid tight supply and continued chain disruption. supply.
“Booming refrigerated freight rates follow in the wake of the dry freight industry as operators realign risk / income expectations for refrigerated freight to more inflated system costs and operational challenges such as times. longer stays in transshipment ports and longer container equipment cycle times. ”
The Drewry Global Refrigerated Container Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of tariffs on the top 15 refrigeration-intensive deep-sea trade routes, rose 48% in the year through 3Q21. The increase is expected to reach up to 55% by the end of 4Q21.
“These advances were reflected in the on-time charter rates for specialized reefer vessels, which experienced their best ‘off season’ in history with small vessel rates exceeding 100 cents cft / 30 days.”
Shippers of lower-value cargoes like bananas, onions, citrus or frozen vegetables “now face much higher shipping costs after enjoying years of relatively low freight rates that have helped them save money. develop distant markets They now have to work hard to ensure that these higher costs are passed on to retailers and end consumers.
Refrigerated maritime traffic is expected to increase by more than 3 percent in 2021 to reach 136 million tonnes, slightly lower than previous estimates. “All commodities show growth in 2021 except bananas. Meat trade to Asia slows due to falling pork prices in China and banana trade is expected to decline by 5 percent in 2021, due to the persistent disease of the Philippine crop and the low banana prices in general. “
Drewry expects tense market conditions to continue through 2022 “supporting both the employment of specialized refrigerated vessels and refrigerated container freight rates while challenging BCO’s logistics operations” .