Reefer Container Market Research Report: By Size (20 Feet, 40 Feet, More than 40 Feet), Transportation Mode (Seaways, Roadways, Railways), Industry (Food, Pharmaceutical, Chemical) – Global Industry Analysis and Growth Forecast to 2030

  • Published: February 2021
  • Report Code: AT10585
  • Available Format: PDF
  • Pages: 250

Reefer Container Market Overview

The global reefer container market accounted for a size of 3,169.2 thousand twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in 2019, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period (2020–2030). Major factors responsible for the market growth include the increasing number of trade routes, rising demand for pharmaceutical drugs, expanding e-commerce industry, and advent of the real-time tracking technology.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reefer container market has been negatively impacted. This is mainly due to the regulations laid down by governments worldwide such as lockdowns and social distancing. Therefore, containers d that were shipped to the major ports, were either stranded onboard ships, off-loaded at alternate locations, or are sitting at various ports and terminals, demurrage, and detention. Moreover, the pandemic has caused companies in the global transportation and logistics industry to face economic stress due to liquidity, labor shortage, fewer contracts, and other issues and resulted in ceased payment to employees and a severe decline of ~15% in the global trade volume.

Reefer Container Market Outlook

Due to Strong Need to Carry Voluminous Cargo, 40 Feet Category To Witness Fastest Growth

Based on size, the 40 feet category is expected to witness the fastest growth in the reefer container market during the forecast period. This would mainly be because 40-foot containers are designed to carry voluminous cargo, rather than heavy cargo. Moreover, the cost of 40-foot containers is quite similar to 20-foot containers, which is between $7,500 and $8,500. Therefore, the higher capacity and a small difference between the cost of the containers are expected to increase the penetration of 40-foot containers during the forecast period.

Preference for Ships for International Trade Helping Seaways Category Dominate Market

Based on transportation mode, the seaways category held the largest share in the reefer container market in 2019, and it is expected to maintain the lead in the coming years. This would be majorly due to the merchant shipping sector conducting 90% of the international trade via more than 100,000 commercial ships. Moreover, on rivers and canals, barges are often used to carry bulk cargo.

Rising Demand for Biologics To Propel Pharmaceutical Category at Highest CAGR in Forecast Period

Based on industry, the pharmaceutical category is expected to witness the fastest growth in the forecast period. This is attributed to the rising demand for biologics, cellular therapies, vaccines, and blood products, which require temperature-controlled containers for their storage and transportation.

Expanding Global Trade of Seaborne Perishable Reefer Cargo Supports Domination of APAC

Globally, Asia-Pacific (APAC) accounted for the largest share in the global reefer container market in 2019, and it is expected to retain its position in the coming years. This would majorly be due to the expanding global trade of seaborne perishable reefer cargo, coupled with the advancements in the reefer container technology. Moreover, almost all the major countries in the region are home to numerous seaports and inland ports, and the region is witnessing the fastest growth in urbanization, which, in turn, has led to an increase in the volume of trade.

LATAM – Fastest-Growing Market Owing to Rapid Urbanization

Moreover, with the rising population in Latin America (LATAM), along with the rapid urbanization, there has been an increase in the shipping and transportation activities for food items. Due to these factors, the region is expected to display the highest growth rate in the market in the forecast period.

Reefer Container Market Geographical Insight

Partnerships and Market Consolidation Are Key Trends

Recently, the shipping and container industry has witnessed a significant number of mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships among container lines and the expansion of shipping companies into port operations. These, in turn, benefit shippers, if on a given route, the savings achieved by container lines translate into lower expenses and improved service offerings. For instance, in January 2020, Textainer Group Holdings Ltd. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Textainer Ltd. has completed the purchase of Leased Assets Pool Company Limited (LAPCO). LAPCO owns a fleet of intermodal containers with a cumulative space of 163,000 TEU, which are now being managed by Textainer, and more containers with a cumulative capacity of approximately 3,000 TEU, which are being managed by other container lessors.

Reefer Container Market Drivers

Rising Demand for Pharmaceutical Drugs Is Boosting Market Growth

Most pharmaceutical drugs are temperature-sensitive, therefore are required to be stored and transported under a controlled environment, in order to maintain their efficacy and safety. For instance, in 2017, Baxter International Inc. announced a recall of one shipment of its INTRALIPID 20% intravenous (IV) fat emulsion as the shipment froze and lost its properties during transportation. Incidents like this have created a need for proper temperature-controlled transportation methods, such as reefer containers, in order to prevent shipment losses. With the improvement in reefer containers’ technology and a decrease in the cost of shipping, several pharmaceutical players have started trading overseas to gain higher revenue.

Increasing Number of Trade Routes Is Bolstering Demand for Reefer Containers

A trade route is a logistical network of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transportation of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long-distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and non-commercial transportation routes. In April 2019, a new land–sea freight route was launched, linking south-western China's Chongqing municipality and Indonesia. As of September 2019, the new international land–sea trade corridor connects 190 ports in 90 countries. Thus, with the continuous increase in the maritime trade volume and number of trade routes, reefer containers are expected to witness a high demand.

Reefer Container Market Report Coverage
Report Attribute Details
Historical Years 2014-2019
Forecast Years 2020-2030
Base Year (2019) Market Size 3,169.2 Thousand TEU
Forecast Period (2020-2030) CAGR 8.0%
Report Coverage Market Trends; Revenue Estimation and Forecast; Segmentation Analysis; Regional Breakdown; Competitive Analysis; Companies’ Strategic Developments; Product Benchmarking; Company Profiling
Market Size by Segments By Size; By Transportation Mode; By Industry; By Region
Market Size of Geographies U.S.; Canada; Germany; France; U.K.; Italy; Spain; Netherlands; China; Japan; India; Australia; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia; U.A.E.
Secondary Sources and References (Partial List) American Bureau of Shipping; American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS); Cool Chain Association; Directorate General of Shipping; European Shippers Council; Federal Maritime Commission; International Air Transport Association; Singapore Shipping Association; Supply-Chain Council; The National Association of Freight and Logistics; World Shipping Council; American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)


Market Players Are Focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions to Gain Competitive Edge

The reefer container market has several players, such as A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S, Singamas Container Holdings Ltd., China International Marine Containers (Group) Co. Ltd., Seaco Srl, Triton International Ltd., MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., Hapag-Lloyd AG, Ocean Network Express (ONE) Pte. Ltd., and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. In recent years, players in the market have actively involved themselves in mergers and acquisitions to gain a competitive edge in the industry.

  • In December 2020, SeaCube Containers LLC acquired 200 Carrier Pods monitored by Sensitech Inc. in order to address the anticipated increase in the demand for refrigerated storage capacity, as well as cargo visibility, in support of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.
  • In February 2020, A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S acquired Performance Team LLC. This will further strengthen the capabilities of the former company as an integrated container logistics company offering end-to-end supply chain solutions. Performance Team LLC offers business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) distribution solutions to the retail, wholesale, and e-commerce sectors, with 24 warehousing sites.

Key Players in Global Reefer Container Market Include:

  • A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S
  • Singamas Container Holdings Ltd.
  • China International Marine Containers (Group) Co. Ltd.
  • Seaco Srl
  • Triton International Ltd.
  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.
  • Hapag-Lloyd AG
  • Ocean Network Express (ONE) Pte. Ltd.
  • ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.
  • SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd.
  • Klinge Corporation
  • W&K Containers Inc.
  • Almar Container Group

Reefer Container Market Size Breakdown by Segments

The reefer container market report offers comprehensive market segmentation analysis along with market estimation for the period 2014-2030.

Based on Size

  • 20 Feet
  • 40 Feet
  • More than 40 Feet

Based on Transportation Mode

  • Seaways
  • Roadways
  • Railways

Based on Industry

  • Food
    • Fruits
    • Meat/poultry
    • Fish/seafood
    • Vegetables
    • Dairy products
  • Pharmaceutical
    • Liquid medicines
    • Pills
    • Vaccines
    • Biologicals
  • Chemical

Geographical Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • Netherlands
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC)
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Australia
  • Latin America (LATAM)
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • U.A.E.
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