Global shipping consultancy Drewry has launched a Reefer Benchmarking Club to meet the growing concerns of shippers about rising freight rates and reduced service levels at a time of carrier consolidation.
The new Reefer Benchmarking Club aims to emulate the success of its service for dry containers, a closed user group with full anonymity and confidentiality that generates over 700,000 data points each month.
Club members will receive detailed, bespoke reports that benchmark the different elements of their ocean spend and carrier service performance, enabling them to reduce their ocean spend and improve their competitiveness.
Recent increases in reefer freight rates are showing that reefer shippers are suffering more than others (shown in the graph below).
Drewry Global Reefer Freight Rate Index increased by $51 or nearly 2% during 2Q17, compared to the Drewry Global Freight Rate Index for dry containers which fell by $85 or nearly 5% over the same time period
Reefer shippers are particularly sensitive to shipment delays or service disruptions because of the perishability of their cargo.
The latest technical paper from Drewry's Rahul Sharan has found that a gradually narrowing supply-demand gap has been improving the dry bulk market
Drewry has found that a decade of cost-cutting among shipping lines has led to equipment shortages caused by underinvestment in new reefer equipment.
Low import volumes have also stopped the repositioning of empties.
Stijn Rubens, Senior Consultant at Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, said: “The recent wave of carrier consolidation will continue into 2018 and its effect on the supply side of the market will be felt ever more strongly for several years to come.
“At the same time, demand is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace. That is why, at Drewry, we are coming to the view that in tomorrow’s market the balance of power between shippers and carriers may shift.
“In such a context, two key questions that every supply chain professionals should be asking themselves are; am I paying too much for my reefer container shipments and how do my reefer container rates compare to my competition.”