7.6   Trends in the container ship fleet
Table 9 shows the overall trends in refrigerated container slots on ships. These also include slots for porthole containers, although they have tended to be on the decrease since the last porthole ships were built in 1995. Since generally one slot is provided for a 40' container on ships other than porthole ships, the actual number of slots is approximately half that shown (1 FEU = 2 TEUs).
Year Reefer slots TEU Annual
growth rate
1996 267,000 -
1997 305,000 14.2%
1998 358,100 17.4%
1999 403,600 12.7%
2000 418,800 3.8%
2001 457,100 9.1%
2002 531,600 16.3%
2003 592,300 11.4%
2004 746,600 26.1%
Table 9:
Overall trends in refrigerated
container slots on ships from
1996 to 1997
All figures in TEU
Source: : Clarkson Container Intelligence Monthly

The number of refrigerated container slots on ships (see Table 9) is gowing at approximately 14% per year, around the same rate at which the number of containers is increasing.
Table 10 shows the development in the size and age of the container ship fleet including the refrigerated container capacity at the end of 1997. A total of some 2,200 were available for transporting refrigerated containers. The large ships with a high refrigerated container capacity which were over five years old in 1997, were ships used to transport porthole containers. Recently built ships are exclusively ships used to transport integral containers. The ships of the "Regina Maersk" group, for instance, have 700 refrigerated container slots, which is equivalent to 1,400 TEUs. The largest refrigerated container ship in the world in 2004, the "Monte Cervantes", owned by Hamburg-Süd, has more than 1,365 slots for 2,450 TEU refrigerated containers. This gives refrigerated containers a share of almost 50% of the overall capacity of the ship of 5,100 TEU.

Click the graphic to enlarge.
Table 10:
Trends in the size and age of ships with refrigerated container capacity

Figure 28: The "Dole Colombia" refrigerated container ship built by HDW in 1999 with 990 FEU (= 1980 TEU) water-cooled refrigerated containers

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