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Reefer Container Market Outlook from 2024 to 2034

The reefer container market is likely to record a CAGR of 3.9% through 2034. The industry is valued at USD 6,858.6 million as of 2024. Considering the current industry trends, this valuation is slated to surpass USD 10,055.2 million by 2034.

The global packaging industry, in the last few years, has undergone a tremendous transformation. There is an excellent demand for packaging solutions that can ship perishable goods across borders while maintaining specific temperature ranges.

The expansion of the global pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry, especially after the pandemic, is also a major driver for the sales of reefer containers.

Manufacturers in these industries need reefer containers to ensure the safe and effective transport of temperature-sensitive products, such as vaccines, biologics, and dietary supplements. This trend is observed the most in countries like India, China, and the United States, where the presence of a multitude of industry giants is seen.

The growing global food trade is another reason for the soaring demand for reefer containers in the international marketplace. Consumers, in present day and age, are increasingly demanding a wider variety of fresh and exotic foods year-round.

This has led to a significant surge in the transportation of perishable goods, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood, across long distances. These food items must be kept at specific temperatures to maintain their freshness and prevent spoilage, and reefer containers provide the ideal solution for this.

eCommerce growth in emerging economies is also contributing to the growth of this industry. The globalization of marketplaces, coupled with the increasing adoption of online shopping platforms, has opened up new opportunities for businesses to cater to the demands of consumers across borders.

Last-mile delivery services that deliver fresh food items are one of the significant consumers of reefer containers. All these factors have led to the sustained growth of this industry.

Attributes Description
Estimated Global Reefer Container Market Size (2024E) USD 6,858.6 million
Projected Global Reefer Container Market Value (2034F) USD 10,055.2 million
Value-based CAGR (2024 to 2034) 3.9%

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Key Industry Highlights

Technological Advancements to Augment Sales

Technological advancements in the packaging industry have led to the development of advanced temperature monitoring systems. These new containers provide improved insulation materials and energy-efficient cooling solutions, which is amplifying the demand for these containers in the industrial world. Besides this, these innovations also help enhance the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of reefer containers.

Remote Monitoring and IoT Integration to Contribute Positively

The integration of IoT technology in the reefer containers helps businesses monitor the temperature inside these containers in real time. This makes the job of stakeholders easy as they can remotely track temperature, humidity, location, and other crucial parameters. This integration also ensures the integrity of perishable goods throughout the supply chain. These modern and sophisticated features are augmenting the sales of reefer containers.

Cargo Failures and Temperature Fluctuations to Impede Adoption

Apart from the high upfront investments required in acquiring and supporting the operation of reefer containers, there are several other reasons that are slowing down the industry's growth. Reefer containers are susceptible to temperature fluctuations and mechanical failures. This compromises the quality and safety of perishable cargo, which can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities for shipping companies and cargo owners.

2019 to 2023 Global Reefer Container Sales Outlook Compared to Demand Forecast from 2024 to 2034

The growth of the global reefer container industry is dependent upon the performances of various industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, e-commerce, etc. The industry is also reliant on the advances in technology and infrastructure. In the last few years, the industry has experienced a lot of fluctuations in terms of growth. In the period between 2019 to 2023, the industry showcased a CAGR of 2.7%.

When the pandemic hit the world, several industries took a heavy blow. International borders were closed, primarily to mitigate the transmission of the virus. Manufacturing companies also had to reduce their production due to stagnancy in demand for consumer goods and products. Due to the closing of the economies, people also were left with limited disposable income to spend on luxury items.

All these factors adversely impacted the reefer container industry. However, the demand for pharmaceutical products during the pandemic surged. This increased demand for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals helped the reefer container industry regain some momentum. The expansion of e-commerce and last-mile delivery services post-pandemic also helped the reefer container industry make a comeback.

Considering the current industry trends, the reefer container market is very likely to have bright prospects in the coming future.

Ismail Sutaria
Ismail Sutaria

Principal Consultant

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Comparative Market Overview

The ongoing trends and challenges of the temperature-controlled pharmaceutical container industry and the thin-walled plastic container industry have been discussed below. These industries showcase similar dynamics in comparison to the reefer container industry.

Referring to these numbers, it can be confidently projected that the thin-walled plastic container industry is very likely to have a promising future as compared to the other two.

Temperature Controlled Pharmaceutical Container Industry Assessment:

To ensure the safe delivery of critical products, service providers are now incorporating the latest technologies and launching innovative products. Further, as most temperature-sensitive medicines and vaccines are transported through airlines, vendors have generated an excellent demand for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical containers in the last few years.

Attributes Description
Related Market Temperature-Controlled Pharmaceutical Container Industry
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 4.8%
Growth Factor The development of new drugs and therapies is expected to spur the industry growth factors for pharmaceutical containers.
Restraint The higher expense incurred from energy consumed in maintaining the internal temperature of containers.
Trend Manufacturers in the global pharmaceutical industry are making use of the latest technologies to produce innovative medicines and drugs that require temperature modulation throughout the logistics chain.

Thin Wall Plastic Container Industry Assessment:

The market for thin-walled plastic containers is expanding rapidly due to the food and beverages sector’s exponential growth. Foods, snacks, dairy goods, and beverages are all packaged extensively in thin-walled plastic containers. They are easy to handle, convenient, and can be made to fit a variety of product shapes and sizes.

Attributes Description
Related Market Thin Wall Plastic Container Industry
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 4.8%
Growth Factor As e-commerce grows, so does the need for packaging options to survive the rigors of transporting products online. Plastic thin-wall containers are being modified to satisfy the unique needs of e-commerce packaging, including protection and durability.
Restraint As sustainability is gaining traction, several firms and customers are looking for eco-friendly packaging alternatives, including paper-based packaging, bio-based plastics, or other options. This change is set to impact the market for plastic containers with thin walls.
Trends One key area of focus for manufacturers in the market is enhancing barrier qualities, such as moisture and oxygen resistance. This is particularly crucial for product shelf life extension and the packaging of perishable items.

Category-wise Insights

The reefer container industry is mainly categorized on the basis of container size, industrial use, and mode of transportation. The top two categories are discussed below.

Medium-sized Reefer Containers to Garner Attention of Industries Across Sectors

Reefer containers come in various shapes and sizes to fit the diverse needs of the industries they serve. They come in sizes that are less than 20 feet, 20 to 40 feet, and more than 40 feet. As of 2024, medium-sized reefer containers with a capacity of 20 to 40 feet are holding an industry share of 45%.

Segment 20 to 40 Feet (Size)
Value Share (2024) 45%

The demand for medium-sized reefer containers with a capacity of 20 to 40 feet is touching the skies due to their optimal balance of capacity and versatility. These containers offer sufficient space for transporting significant quantities of perishable goods without the logistical challenges that might accompany larger containers.

Reefer containers are also gaining popularity due to their demand in the pharmaceutical sector, which utilizes them for temperature-sensitive products like vaccines, biologics, and dietary supplements.

Reefer Containers Finds Its Place in the Healthcare Sector

Based on the end use, the reefer container industry is segmented into food and beverage, healthcare, chemicals, and others. The healthcare sector, as of 2024, takes up the majority of the industry share of 28%.

Segment Healthcare (End Use)
Value Share (2024) 28%

The healthcare sector is generating a huge demand for reefer containers as they provide the necessary environment to ensure vaccines, insulin, and certain medications remain within the required temperature range during transportation. Their clamor is also skyrocketing in this sector due to the global distribution of vaccines, especially during mass immunization campaigns or in remote areas with limited infrastructure

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Country-wise Insights

The section discusses the region-wise analysis of the reefer container industry. Drawing from these analytics, it can be inferred that Asian countries such as India, Thailand, and South Korea are some of the lucrative markets, primarily due to the emergence of multinational companies in the region. The United States and the United Kingdom are also performing very well in this industry.

Countries CAGR 2024 to 2034
India 4%
Thailand 4%
South Korea 3.9%
The United Kingdom 3.4%
The United States 3.7%

High Consumer Demand for Fresh Food to Boost the Sales of Reefer Containers in India

The Indian reefer container industry is showcasing a healthy CAGR of 4% for the forecast period of 2024 to 2034. India is a hub for players looking to expand in the food and beverage industry. This is mainly due to the enormous population and the presence of a multitude of companies in the country.

These industries often use reefer containers to ship their product offerings from one part of the country to another. A significant demand for fresh and exotic food items is also observed in India. These factors have led to a significant requirement for reefer containers in the country.

Advanced Pharmaceutical and Biotech Industries Benefit the United States Reefer Container Industry

The United States is also a lucrative marketplace for the reefer container industry. It is slated to showcase a CAGR of 3.7% through 2034. The United States is blessed with some of the world's leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Amgen, Gilead Sciences, and Biogen.

These companies generate a huge demand for reefer containers to transport high-value, temperature-sensitive products such as biologics, gene therapies, and vaccines. Besides this, the sophisticated supply chain and logistics infrastructure in the country also has driven the growth of this industry in the United States.

Increasing Consumption of Perishable Imports to Aid the United Kingdom’s Industry

The United Kingdom is estimated to report a CAGR of 3.4% for the forecast period of 2024 to 2034. The United Kingdom, as a country, is significantly dependent on imported perishable goods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and dairy products, for consumption. This import necessitates the use of reefer containers to maintain the freshness and quality of these imports as they travel long distances.

The growth of eCommerce and online grocery shopping in the UK has spurred the demand for reefer containers. With more consumers opting for the convenience of home delivery services for fresh and frozen foods, logistics providers are investing in specialized reefer containers to cater to this growing market segment.

The need for efficient last-mile delivery solutions further emphasizes the importance of reliable and advanced reefer containers in ensuring that perishable goods reach consumers in prime condition.

Competition Outlook

Despite the sluggish growth rate, the reefer container industry is very competitive due to the presence of numerous companies that take the majority share of the global revenue generated. These companies have a strong foothold not just in their domestic regions but across borders as well.

These companies are offering a diverse range of reefer container sizes, configurations, and features to cater to the specific needs of different industries and customers. Some of the most prominent companies in the industry are Maersk Container Industry, Daikin Reefer, Carrier Transicold, and Thermo King.

Industry Updates

  • In March 2024, Seatrade launched its innovative 'Country Class' reefer container vessels, starting with the M.v. 'Seatrade Chile.' Equipped with 640 reefer plugs and advanced hydrodynamic design, the vessel aimed to meet the growing demand for high reefer intake in the industry.
  • In December 2023, BLR Logistiks expanded its fleet to include reefer containers in response to the rising demand for temperature-controlled transport solutions. Equipped with advanced technology, the containers ensured the integrity of sensitive cargo during transportation across various industries.

Leading Reefer Container Brands

  • Maersk Container Industry
  • Daikin Reefer
  • Carrier Transicold
  • Thermo King
  • Singamas Container Holdings
  • CIMC Group
  • China International Marine Containers (CIMC)
  • Hyundai Translead
  • Klinge Corporation
  • MCI (Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation)
  • Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd.
  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • Triton Container International Limited
  • Seaco Global Limited
  • Blue Sky Intermodal
  • Evergreen Marine Corporation
  • CMA CGM Group
  • ZIM Integrated Shipping Services
  • Hapag-Lloyd
  • COSCO Shipping Lines

Key Segments of Market Report

By Container Size:

On the basis of container size, the sector is segmented into reefer containers with capacities of less than 20 feet, 20 to 40 feet, and more than 40 feet.

By End Use:

Based on the end use, the industry is divided into food and beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical.

By Mode of Transportation:

On account of the mode of transportation, the sector is segmented into roadways, railways, and seaways.

By Region:

By region, the industry is divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the overall global valuation for this industry?

The global valuation is USD 6,858.6 million as of 2024.

What does the future of this industry look like?

The market is expected to reach 10,055.2 million by 2034.

What is the growth of this industry in terms of CAGR?

The market is growing at a CAGR of 3.9% from 2024 to 2034.

Who are the prominent players in the reefer container market?

Daikin Reefer, Carrier Transicold, and Thermo King are some of the notable players.

What was the Reefer Container Market Value in 2023?

In 2023, the global market was valued at USD 6,665.3 million.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

2. Industry Introduction, including Taxonomy and Market Definition

3. Market Trends and Success Factors, including Macro-economic Factors, Market Dynamics, and Recent Industry Developments

4. Global Market Demand Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, including Historical Analysis and Future Projections

5. Pricing Analysis

6. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034

    6.1. Container Size

    6.2. Industry

    6.3. Mode of Transportation

7. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Container Size

    7.1. Less than 20 Feet

    7.2. 20-40 Feet

    7.3. More than 40 Feet

8. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Industry

    8.1. Food and Beverage

    8.2. Healthcare

    8.3. Chemicals

    8.4. Others

9. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Mode of Transportation

    9.1. Roadways

    9.2. Railways

    9.3. Seaways

10. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Region

    10.1. North America

    10.2. Latin America

    10.3. Western Europe

    10.4. South Asia

    10.5. East Asia

    10.6. Eastern Europe

    10.7. Middle East & Africa

11. North America Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

12. Latin America Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

13. Western Europe Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

14. South Asia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

15. East Asia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

16. Eastern Europe Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

17. Middle East & Africa Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

18. Sales Forecast 2024 to 2034 by Container Size, Industry, and Mode of Transportation for 30 Countries

19. Competition Outlook, including Market Structure Analysis, Company Share Analysis by Key Players, and Competition Dashboard

20. Company Profile

    20.1. Singamas Container Holdings Ltd.

    20.2. China International Marine Containers (Group) Co. Ltd.

    20.3. Seaco Srl

    20.4. Triton International Ltd.

    20.5. MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    20.6. Hapag-Lloyd AG

    20.7. Ocean Network Express (ONE) Pte. Ltd.

    20.8. ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.

    20.9. SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd.

    20.10. Klinge Corporation

    20.11. W&K Containers Inc.

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