Reefer prices predicted to rise further into 2022

Mon 03/01/2022 by Richard Wilkinson
Two container ships docked at the Wando Welch Terminal (WWT) in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on November 19, 2020. This South Carolina Port Authority facility is South Carolina's largest container terminal with 399 acres of developed land on it’s 689 total acres, its 14 ship-to-shore container cranes and wharf are specialized to handle three neo-Pamanax ships at one time along its 3,800 foot berth length. USDA Media by Lance Cheung. Any reference to any person, or organization, or activities, products, or services related to company or organization from this web site to the web site of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of the U.S. Government or any of its employees.

Reefer container rates are forecast to climb even faster than dry cargo rates in 2022, according to Drewry’s recently published Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2021/22 report. “As trade conditions normalise, reefer container freight rates are forecast to continue rising as price inflation feeds into North-South routes when long term contract rates are renewed,” said Drewry’s head of reefer shipping research Philip Gray.

Drewry’s Global Reefer Container Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of rates across the top 15 reefer intensive deep-sea trade routes, rose 32% over the year to 2Q21 and by the end of 3Q21 these gains are expected to reach as much as 50%.

But these advances are dwarfed by the recent surge in dry container freight rates which have seen average container carrier unit revenues more than double over the same period.

The resurgence in reefer freight rates has not been uniform across all trades. Pricing recovery has been particularly strong on the main East-West routes, where vessel capacity conditions have been noticeably tight. But North-South trades have generally seen less price inflation, particularly on export routes from WCSA, Central America and Southern Africa.

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