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Conventional reefers no longer sailing, but reefer container market not simple

Due to the age of conventional reefer ships, 30 years on average, more and more ships will be taken off of the water in the coming year. Last year the company formerly known as Lloyd scrapped 24 reefer ships, the largest amount since 2012. This was mentioned by Dynamar in a recent report. Special reefer container ships will take over the transport. Keeping reefer container ships afloat isn't easy, as the example of Seatrade shows.

The market share of fruit and vegetables in sea transport is estimated to be almost 4%. Statistics show that 2015 was a year in which the trade shrank by 2% in volume. That year 144.4 million tonnes of perishable goods were shipped over the seas. In the year after, 2016, there was a growth of 3.5%. This trend continued in 2017 with a growth of 4%.

At the start of 2017 Seatrade started up a container service between Northern Europe and New Zealand via the west coast of South America. Six of the new ships (2,300 TEU/650-770 plugs) were to sail on this service. Although the containers weren't new for Seatrade, the project didn't go as planned. In July the service combined with those of partners CMA CGM and Marfret and a number of other changes followed before the end of the year.

Although this example shows that it isn't always successful, the market is moving unperturbed towards reefer containers. Until October last year there were 130,000 TEO reefer containers built. Due to the age of the conventional reefer fleet globally, and the fact that no new orders have been placed for conventional reefers, Dynamar concludes that this fleet will shrink further. 

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