Reefer Shortage Crisis – Demand to outstrip supply before 2020

A massive increase in demand for Reefer containers driven by demand for protein from China has seen an increasing risk of reefer shortages compounded by an existing short supply.

China has taken measures to secure food supply for its population, particularly for protein and meat-based products. The African Swine Flu epidemic, now in the Swine stock in China, has resulted in urgent orders for alternative food supply from Europe including Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and South America.

While exporters can expect higher meat prices for this market, they will also be required to urgently secure contracts with carriers to secure equipment and space, and likely higher rates.

Reefer demand extends to Dairy and Pharma sectors, and members are urged to secure or negotiate contracts to ensure supply as best they can early. It is expected that there will likely not be enough reefers to meet demand.

The IEA is monitoring the situation and has raised the issue with government to try to find solutions for exporters.