|The classic reefer Andalucia Star (159 m x 24 m) in Øresund on June 10, 2013.|
Reefers could become an "endangered species". During the last few years there has been a shift away from conventional reefers in favor of containers ships, when it comes to export of fruits. The maritime refrigerated container fleet grew by a record 13% during 2011, according to a study by Dewry Maritime Research. In 2006 the world fleet of maritime refrigerated containers consisted of 1,377,00 units. By 2011 it had reached 2,048,000 containers.
However, not everything is doom and gloom for the traditional reefers:
Ole Schack Petersen, Global Head of Perishables at Damco, says there is still a place for break bulk reefer shipping.
"It all depends on the type of trade you are talking about and whether or not the ship is filled," he explains. "The economy of scale - particularly in relation to seasonal trade - often benefits the reefer vessels, as they can more easily swing in and out of seasons."