Drewry predicts that 2019 only 18 % of the reefer cargo will be shipped by reeferships (82% by container carriers) . Besides it, FAO expects by 2030 that the global food production has to raise a 70%, given expected population.
At the same time, as regards to liner shipping, carriers consolidation and concentration has led to lesser frequency , while core liner routes are not always matching reefer cargo needs. Dry cargo (more volume) is generally the priority for liners.
This comes on top of the scenario of the bigger containerships . Average call size at terminals is growing, increasing pressure on terminal operators (limited availability of reefer equipment in some routes/seasons , plus few “fresh” or “fruit friendly” ports given deadlines at terminals, plug availability, documentary bottle-necks , other …).
In that environment, the control of the terminals is crucial to grant the smooth flow of fresh and frozen food. China clearly understood this frame and therefore it is investing heavily in terminals worldwide. On the contrary, Western authorities (e.g. EU) seem to be rather dormant . Reefer 3PLs like Easyfresh identify here a problem, but likewsie a business opportunity . This by sorting out these bottle-necks for food traders, exporters and importers .