London, U.K. — Global shipping consultancy Drewry has launched a new, dedicated Reefer Benchmarking Club to meet the growing concerns of shippers about rising freight rates and reduced service levels at a time of carrier consolidation.
Mirroring the success of Drewry’s Benchmarking Club service for dry containers, which now generates over 700,000 data points each month, the new Reefer Benchmarking Club will similarly operate as a closed user group with full anonymity and confidentiality. 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.
The relevance of this new initiative is highlighted by recent increases in reefer freight rates, illustrating that reefer shippers are suffering more than others. Reefer shippers are particularly sensitive to shipment delays or service disruptions because of the perishability of their cargo. Furthermore, a decade of cost cutting among shipping lines has led to genuine equipment shortages caused by under investment in new reefer equipment and their decision to stop repositioning empties to certain demand areas that are in deficit (due to low import volumes).
The graph shows the evolution of the Drewry Global Reefer Freight Rate Index which 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.
“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,” said Stijn Rubens, senior consultant at Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. “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,” he added.