Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) moved 1.9 million refrigerated (reefer) containers in 2020 and broke its previous record of 1.8 million that it set in 2019.
In a statement, the carrier said 2020 was “another successful year” for its reefer services as demand for medicines meant greater volumes.
Reefer volumes have grown in the past decade as demand for fresh fruit from areas such as Central and South America has risen sharply, according to MSC. Consequently, the carrier said it has increased its infrastructure for handling reefers, including adding 15,000 to its fleet in 2020.
Its latest line of mega-ships, which include the 23,000 TEU MSC Gulsun, are equipped to carry 2,000 additional reefers than the previous generation of vessels.
The increased capacity has helped service the high volumes of trade activity between Europe and Asia, boosting the trade of food, drinks, pharmaceuticals and other chilled and frozen products.
Giuseppe Prudente, MSC Global Chief Logistics Officer, said, “Reefer containers and temperature-controlled solutions have gained popularity over the course of 2020.
“At MSC, our customers remain our top priority and we’re glad that we’ve been able to keep their reefer operations functioning amid the pandemic.
“The growing demand has also opened up new market possibilities, which we have been able to support thanks to our continual investment in the best technologies for refrigerated transport solutions.”
MSC said it is “continually investing” in the best technologies for its reefer containers to ensure perishable goods maintain their quality to final destination.
It said the market for reefer services is set to grow in the coming years and with a fleet of 560 vessels, it is well-positioned to service that demand as an established leader in refrigerated cargo transportation in many regions.
“As part of our unrivalled customer service, we have more than 1,000 reefer experts available to advise customers on their transportation needs,” it claimed.