Reefer container freight rates to accelerate in 2022

According to Drewry’s recently published Reefer Shipping Forecaster, reefer container freight rates are forecast to expected through 2022, outpacing earlier forecasts as well as expectations for dry container freight rates, as reefer traffic recovers from a flat 2020 and container vessel slots remain scarce.

Drewry’s Global Reefer Container Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of rates across the top 15 reefer intensive deep-sea trade routes, rose 48% over the year to 3Q21 and by the end of 4Q21 these gains are expected to reach as much as 55% (see chart).

Booming reefer freight rates are following in the wake of the dry cargo sector, as operators realign risk/revenue expectations for refrigerated cargo in line with more inflated system costs and operational challenges, such as extended dwell times at transhipment ports and longer container equipment cycle times.


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