More inbound fruit shipments in first half of 2020

In the first six months of 2020, reefer cargo shipments were 2.8 percent up in volume relative to one year previously. There were mainly more fruit shipments whereas meat and vegetables declined in volume. Total inward maritime transport fell by 1.6 percent. This is evident from new figures on inward and outward maritime transport, released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Inward maritime transport of refrigerated and frozen cargo amounted to 5.6 million tonnes in the first half of 2020. This is 17 percent of all inbound container cargo.

Inbound container shipments by sea, first half of 2020*
LadingQ1 (year-on-year % change)Q2 (year-on-year % change)
Reefer containers3.12.5
Other containers0-4.4
*provisional figures

Mainly more incoming fresh fruit

The supply of refrigerated fresh fruit from overseas has been growing for years. In the first half of this year, the volume of inbound fruit shipments rose by 162 thousand tonnes to 3.2 million tonnes. Fruit supplies now account for 57 percent of total inbound reefer transport. Supplies of fresh fish as well increased over the first six months, to 544 thousand tonnes. In addition to reefer shipments of fresh fruit and fish, reefer vessels accounted for 190 thousand tonnes of fruit and nearly 150 thousand tonnes of frozen fish in shipments arriving over the first half of this year.

Incoming reefer shipments of fresh vegetables dropped in volume by 111 thousand tonnes (24 percent) during the first six months. Supplies of meat and meat products declined as well, by 65 thousand tonnes to 602 thousand tonnes. Meat and vegetables are rarely transported by reefer vessel.

Inbound reefer container shipments by sea
GoederensoortFirst half of 2020 (1,000 tonnes)First half of 2019 (1,000 tonnes)
Meat and meat products601.7666.3
Other food400.8334
*provisional figures

5 billion bananas

Inward banana shipments increased in volume by 101 to 844 thousand tonnes in the first half of 2020. This is over one-quarter of all inbound fruit shipments (3.2 million tonnes). Assuming an average weight of 200 grams per banana, this comes down to approximately 4.2 billion bananas. In the first half of 2020, another 155 thousand tonnes of bananas were carried by reefer vessels. Altogether, this amounts to approximately 5 billion bananas.

During the first two quarters of 2020, inbound avocado shipments rose by over one-third to 225 thousand tonnes. This puts avocados in third place in terms of fruit carried in reefer containers, after bananas and grapes (362 thousand tonnes). In 2019, avocados were still ranking fifth, after apples and oranges.

Inbound fruit in reefer containers by sea*
FruitsoortFirst half of 2020 (1,000 tonnes)First half of 2019 (1,000 tonnes)
*provisional figures

Most reefer shipments from Brazil, South Africa and Panama

Over one-quarter of all reefer goods that reached the Netherlands in the first half of 2020 (nearly 1.5 million tonnes) came from Brazil, South Africa and Panama, each of which supplied almost half a million tonnes of goods.

Ecuador is showing the largest growth in terms of inbound refrigerated goods supplies to the Netherlands. Relative to the first half of 2019, the volume of refrigerated goods from Ecuador rose by 245 thousand tonnes. Reefer shipments from the neighbouring country of Colombia declined in volume from 228 thousand tonnes (first half of 2019) to 90 thousand tonnes (first half of 2020).

Inbound cargo carried by sea in reefer containers
Land First half of 2020 (1,000 tonnes)Firts half of 2019 (1,000 tonnes)
Country of loading
South Africa493.6435.7
Costa Rica340.8363.9
*provisional figures