Refrigeratedtransporter 3341 Msc Handling Containers

Mediterranean Shipping Company invests in reefer cargo services

Aug. 13, 2018
See why despite recent container shipping woes industrywide, the MSC fleet continues to grow in response to market demands.

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) is investing in the reefer segment.

“I am happy to say that the fleet continues to grow in response to market demands and in tandem with the overall growth of MSC’s business, which may handle as much as 20 million TEUs of every conceivable type of cargo this year,” said Antonino Ferraiolo, a reefer expert at MSC.

The company shipped 1.4 million TEU of chilled and frozen cargo in 2017 alone.

“We have more than 1,000 reefer experts dedicated to advising customers such as fruit producers and shippers on how best to prepare their goods for transportation and help them reach existing and new markets,” he said.

Container shipping hasn’t had an easy time lately, with significant consolidation in the industry and a number of high-profile mergers and acquisitions, as well as the bankruptcy of Hanjin, once the seventh-largest container shipping line.

“MSC has stayed independent and strong throughout this period, and many of our customers in the reefer sector appreciate the stability of the company and the long-term partnerships we offer to clients,” said Ferraiolo.

Changes in fuel prices have also been impacting all carriers. “If the price goes up dramatically, and stays high, then some of that cost may be passed on to our customers, who have in general benefited from a significant decline in freight rates in the past two decades,” he said.

Container freight rates have fallen by over half in the past 20 years after inflation is taken into account, according to a recent analysis by Alphaliner.

MSC, however, made a significant recent investment as a sure sign it expects to continue to grow while it navigates the tough industry market conditions. In 2017, the shipping company invested in 11 new vessels with each a capacity of 23,000 TEU. The new tonnage would offset some mid-size vessels expected to come off-hire. These new vessels will be the largest in a fleet of 510 and are expected to be involved with some of the important trade routes for fruit and vegetables.

The market for reefers will keep on growing in the coming years, despite different factors have an impact on the market. “In general, we expect to grow the volume of chilled and frozen goods we ship each year and we continue to invest in this area of our business,” said Ferraiolo.

MSC’s 200 ocean liner services call at more than 500 ports.

“Reefer containers are loaded and discharged, and we provide storage depots and overland transportation solutions to help customers right the way along the supply chain. In some countries, where the power supply is less reliable, we will even provide our own emergency electricity generation systems so we can still serve shippers with reefer containers,” he said.

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