The global reefer container market is set forth to witness significant gains during the forecast timeframe which can be transcribed to high demand for refrigerator insulated containers to safely transport cargoes such as fruits, meat, fish, vegetable, and dairy products from rotting, decay or spoilage. Reefer containers also offer safe transit to other non-edible products including pharmaceuticals, chemicals & flowers.
Urbanization has led to a demand for temperature sensitive products to be transported longer distances. Reefer containers offers the functionality to insulate and refrigerate products or cargoes cutting down the impacts of external temperature, protecting goods from contamination, and thermal shocks keeping products frozen at a temperature of below minus 600C. Optimal humidity conditions are also ensured inside the freezer through de-humidification systems.
Reefers are an excellent portable solution for short and long terms storage making them effective during ship or truck transport over long distances as it can be plugged into a power source on a ship or have clip-on generators attached. For off-grid scenarios, manufacturers are also providing smart energy systems integrated into the reefers which are an efficient and environment friendly alternative to diesel generators.
Reefer containers are well adaptive to ambient temperature, it has the ability to keep goods warm as well as cold. It offers balanced airflow inside the container due to its versatility in maintaining set temperature. These containers are also highly portable and are designed to be easily transported without damaging goods or cargoes inside. These factors altogether should bolster product demand in the future.
The demand for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals is expected to grow from USD 318 billion in 2018 to USD 416 billion in 2022. It is also expected that compliance rules regarding temperature control during transit to become more stringent. An increase in pharmaceutical trades between nations can boost demand for reefer containers in the coming years.
Dramatic halt in the production of reefer containers and equipment was witnessed in 2016, which led to acute shortages in several regions. Later in 2017, the production of new reefer containers improved and continued to grow till 2018. The volume of seaborne reefer cargo grew by 3% to reach 129 million tons in 2018 and with the increase in demand for cargo, the market for reefer containers is also expected to grow.
Based on the type of products shipped by reefer containers, the market can be segmented into two. Food & non-food application. Food products usually shipped through reefer containers include fresh vegetables and fruits, frozen vegetables and fruits, fish, chilled and frozen meat, milk & dairy products, eggs, chocolates & juice. The non-food application will cover pharmaceuticals, flowers & chemicals. As consumers are becoming more sophisticated and selective towards nutrition, they are ready to pay premium prices for quality imported food products. The growing population is another factor which will increase imports/exports for food products, thus in turn impacting reefer container market size.
Based on geography, the reefer container market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific and North America emerge to be the largest market pertaining to huge trades made by these regions. Both of these regions have made huge technological investments and are home to some of the key market players. As the market grows, companies continue to invest in technology development and shifting towards digitization, telematics, and advanced fleet management technology which will increasingly improve productivity and cost reduction.
Technology plays a very important part in deriving the demand for reefer containers, companies are more interested to lowering down carbon footprint and create a sustainable model of business. This has led to the development of technologies which will create opportunities for brand owners and producers to adopt such technologies during transport and create positive marketing around the product. For example, In 2015, the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) accounted to buy 2,000 reefer containers from Daikin which were fitted with Daikin’s latest LXE 10E model reefer unit. This model provides optimal temperature and airflow along with consuming considerably low power. This unit achieves a reduction in power consumption by 50% to the model Daikin developed in 2001.
Some of the key challenges faced by the reefer container market are lag in production, geopolitical risk, cybersecurity concerns, and capital intensiveness. However, reefer utilization rates are expected to be stable in the coming years as the volume of cargoes to be transported is rising and market share for reefer containers is increasing.
Due to lack of investment in the reefer segment of shipping, Europe and Brazil are already facing shortages which can be an opportunity for new players to enter the market and meet the regional demand. In spite of turbulent markets, reefer container demand is expected to increase considerably during 2019-2025. This growth in demand can be ascertained to trade alliances between nations to meet consumer demands. Rise in demand for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and chemicals in South East Asian countries, along with the expansion of the Asian middle class constantly demanding healthy food choices will drive the reefer container market.
Some of the key operating players in the reefer container market are Daikin Reefer; Klinge Corporation; Fortune Container Trading; Hapag-Llyod; Singamas; Global Sea Containers Ltd; BSL Refrigerated Containers & Pioneer Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Works to name a few. Moreover, an increase in freight rates by shipping contractors and charterers for reefer containers should result in an inflow of revenue for container manufacturers. This can lead to higher investment in product R&D which in turn will drive market growth.
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The demand for nutraceuticals & functional foods is expected to witness an upward surge owing to consumers opting for immunity boosting supplements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, a decline in the consumption of poultry, meat and seafood products across the globe is expected to increase the demand for plant and animal-based protein supplements in the near future. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.