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Faster entry and better reefer services

Demand for specialised reefer shippers surges, while China continues to invest massively to reduce its huge cold-chain deficit.
Tue 10/01/2023 by Pierre Escodo
Hapag-Lloyd reefer director Clemens Holz at Fruit Attraction with team member
Seatrade CEO Walter Wildöer (middle) with Seatrade Ecuador team at AEBE forum
ONE is a global reefer carrier

Ocean Network Express (ONE) began operations nearly five years ago, instantly becoming one of the top five reefer carriers in the world. Its dedicated reefer fleet now exceeds 150,000 units. As a leading carrier in the refrigerated cargo segment, ONE provides innovative and cutting-edge solutions for handling temperature-controlled cargo. It has one of the youngest reefer fleets in the industry and recently increased its number of advanced controlled atmosphere technology (CA) units by 500 to meet growing demand from customers. ONE’s goal is to provide customers with the highest service quality and utmost care to preserve the freshness of perishable cargo. The global container carrier, instantly recognisable thanks to its eye-catching magenta branding, offers an extensive choice of more than 130 weekly services to over 120 countries around the world.

Seatrade fleet growing once more

The specialist reefer operator today has a total of 35 Seatrade reefer ships mainly for fruit, and 45 smaller-sized Green Sea ships for frozen products, with a combined capacity of 400,000 cubic feet. “We reduced our fleet from 148 ships fifteen years ago to 80 today due to price competition with containers” said Seatrade Chartering CEO Walter Wildöer. “We are seeing increasing demand again because operators now care about quality service,” he said. Unlike containers, whose prices rose sharply even while services declined, specialist carriers have kept their rates and services stable. Taking the example of Ecuador, container prices to Europe and Russia have tripled from €4,000 to €11,000 or €13,000, while transit time has increased. “Banana exporters even faced interruptions to deliveries with certain destinations like Mersin, followed by three vessels arriving at the same time,” Wildöer said. Seatrade is investing in order to increase its fleet in 2023.

Hapag-Lloyd LIVE providing better reefer services

Running for almost three years, Hapag-Lloyd LIVE provides full transparency throughout cargo transportation. “It helps to understand the conditions of the fruit during the entire shipping process, especially in cases of disruption,” said Clemens Holz, director of reefer products. Reefer services represent about 10% of the operations of Hapag-Lloyd container shipping. Half of the volumes involve fruit and vegetables, with frozen products coming second. “We are very optimistic about the banana and pineapple trade, as they are now considered staple consumer goods. We expect demand to remain strong,” Holz said. Hapag-Lloyd LIVE’s main destinations are Europe, the Far East and the Middle East. With a fleet of 252 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.8 million TEUs serving 123 lines, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading shipping companies.

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