NEWS Integrated Reefer 1st quarter 2018 Growth enabled by solutions By Søren Leth Johannsen, Chief Commercial Officer Looking back on the final market figures for 2017, we can see there were over 115,000 new reefers injected into global trade. This is seen as a positive result compared to the previous year, but still indicates an underinvestment in equipment by the market compared to the actual growth in containerised refrigerated cargo. This is mirrored by the concerns raised in the trade media recently over the lack of availability of reefers in certain regions by various shippers and trade organisations. The order placement rate for reefers accelerated during the second half of 2017 and has remained strong. The first quarter of this year has already seen orders for 40,000 reefers placed, which is more than double the number for the same period in 2017. Last year’s growth rates for ‘Temperature or Climate Control’ goods in reefer containers were above 5% and close to 5 million FFE transported. Current short-term and long-term projections both conservatively indicate an annual increase of +4%. All this points to a strong underlying demand for reefer containers in 2018. The focus on refrigerants and global warming potential (GWP) continues to develop strongly as the increase in price and, for some refrigerants, even the decrease in availability become evident. For some types of refrigerant used in reefers, we have seen prices in Europe increase by as much as 500%. Our decision to offer a solution that enables the existing Star Cool fleet to shift over to a lower GWP refrigerant, such as R513A, has proven the right strategy. A year ago, MCI announced normal cargo operation of R513A in Star Cool machines, with neither Maersk Line nor Hapag Lloyd reporting any operational issues. Later in the year, this prompted Hapag Lloyd to order another 1,000 Integrated Star Cool machines with R513A. This represented the largest nonR134a/R404A delivery for decades, again without any problems being reported. The current concept of delivering all new Star Cool Integrated reefers ‘R513A Optimised’ as standard, which has been active since August 2017, truly gives reefer operators peace of mind when faced with the challenges of GWP, price and refrigerant availability. Thailand and the “King of Fruits“ Largely unknown to much of the world is an interesting and challenging trade in the “King of Fruits”, durian. The natural characteristics of this unique tropical fruit can place reefer containers under extreme stress. In doing so, it has provided MCI with a performance benchmark for test conditions. As in one of the previous edition of Integrated Reefer News included a great story about Greenland, we thought we might go to the other end of the world and another climatic extreme to bring you a fresh insight. Accordingly, in this edition we meet an interesting company in Thailand. Their business involves all aspects of the durian trade, including owning and operating a fleet of Star Cool reefers, used for refrigerated road transport of durian and other fruits. I hope you find our field report from Thailand interesting.
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