Maersk Line has become the latest carrier to unveil extensive new investments in its cool-chain capacity. The line has ordered 14,800 new reefers this year on top of the 30,000 it acquired last year, lowering the average age of its reefer fleet—the world’s largest, at 270,000 units—to 7.9 years, significantly below the industry average of 12 years.
The announcement by Maersk follows an investment announced last month by Hapag-Lloyd in 5,750 refrigerated containers for its reefer fleet, illustrating that lines have pinpointed the potential of the cold chain market, not least in developing markets.
Maritime analyst Drewry recently predicted that, by 2019, reefer containership services would carry over 23 million tons more cargo than they did in 2014, equivalent to compound annual growth of around 4 percent from the slightly more than 100 million tons of cargo carried by sea in reefer containers in 2014. That total reached around 107 million tons in 2015.
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