The reefer equipment situation remains critical and extremely difficult as the reposition gap is
changing from a temporarily issue to a more structural problem on Far & Middle East.
The trade from Far East to Europe continues to peak even more because of seasonal demand (Christmas), changing expense pattern (more consumer goods) and China gaining international market share (only economy at 100% capacity).
The trade from Europe to Far East is peaking because of seasonal demand (Chinese New Year) and increasing industrial activity in China (strong production).
Today we see that vessels arrive in Europe with delay and carrying only dry containers. The empty repositioning space on vessels is reduced to a minimum. Alternative repositioning routes are at their maximum capacity.
The same counts for Middle East as the same vessels sail to both regions.
Briefly, we load reefers to Far & Middle East but we don’t get them back.
Some Shipping lines reduce their reefer availability to a minimum and give priority to dry containers. They sell their (little) reefer volume at a very high price. (COSCO, OOCL, EVERGREEN, HMM, ONE, YANG MING, MAERSK)
Other Shipping lines keep their reefer availability at the highest level possible but introduce equipment imbalance surcharges to cover to Ad Hoc repositioning expenses. They offer capacity, but invoice the extra operational expenses.(MSC, CMA CGM)
The situation is resulting in extra charges as from ETS 01/12 and reduced to none capacity with some shipping lines.
Your account manager will give you the detailed information with the pricelist for December and update the capacity per region and shipping line.