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Refrigerated Transport Market

Refrigerated Transport Market Size, Share, and Analysis, By Transport (Road, Sea, Air, and Rail), By Application (Chilled Food, Frozen Food, Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, and Others), By Vehicles (Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Medium-Heavy Commercial Vehicles (MHCVs), and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs)), By Temperature (Single-temperature and Multi-temperature), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, And Rest of the World), And Regional Forecast 2024-2034

Published on: Apr-2024
Report Code: FG AU 01940
No. of Pages: 170-350
Report Format: PDF

Refrigerated Transport Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% in the forecast period (2024-2034), with the market size valued at USD 21.5 billion in 2023 and projected to reach USD 42 billion by 2034.

Product Overview

Refrigerated transport is the method of transporting perishable goods, such as food items, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals, in temperature-controlled vehicles or containers. Its objective is to maintain specific temperature conditions throughout the journey to sustain the quality and integrity of the cargo. This mode of transport is essential for ensuring that temperature-sensitive products remain fresh and safe for consumption or use during long-distance or cross-border shipments. In addition, refrigerated transport depends on refrigeration systems to regulate temperature and humidity levels within the transport vehicle or container, thereby preventing spoilage or degradation of the goods. Furthermore, by preserving the freshness and quality of perishable items, refrigerated transport simplifies global trade and distribution networks. It allows businesses to efficiently deliver goods to distant markets while adhering to regulatory standards and meeting consumer expectations for product quality and safety.

Market Highlights

Refrigerated Transport Market is estimated to register a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period, 2024-2034

Refrigerated Transport Market is anticipated to reach USD 42 billion, growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period, which is attributed to the increasing demand for perishable goods such as fresh produce, pharmaceuticals, and temperature-sensitive chemicals. The growth of the refrigerated transport market is driven by globalization and the expansion of international trade, which require efficient refrigerated transport solutions to maintain product quality during transit. Moreover, technological improvements in refrigeration systems and vehicles have improved the efficiency and reliability of cold chain logistics. The strict regulations and quality standards instructed by governments and regulatory bodies have encouraged businesses to invest in refrigerated transport services. Thus, the refrigerated transport market will witness sustained expansion due to globalization, fresh innovations, and the demand for regulatory compliance in the market.

Source: Fatpos Global

Refrigerated Transport Market Segmentation

Road Transport segment will dominate the market owing to its accessibility and last-mile connectivity benefits 

Refrigerated Transport Market is segmented based on Transport into Road, Sea, Rail, and Air. The road transport segment will likely lead the refrigerated transport market as road transport provides outstanding flexibility and accessibility, which enable refrigerated trucks to reach remote areas where other modes of transport are not feasible. This model is important for last-mile delivery to urban areas and retail outlets, thereby ensuring timely access to maintain the freshness of the product. Additionally, road transport proves to be cost-effective for shorter distances or smaller shipments as compared to sea, rail, or air options, which makes it a preferred choice for SMEs. Furthermore, with well-developed road networks in many regions, road transport is convenient and the trucks can be customized to meet temperature requirements. Therefore, these aspects collectively highlight the dominance of the road transport segment in the refrigerated transport market.

Light Commercial Vehicles segment will lead due to its affordability and ease of usage

Refrigerated Transport Market is segmented based on Vehicles into Light commercial vehicles (LCVs), Medium-Heavy Commercial Vehicles (MHCVs), and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs). The light commercial vehicle (LCV) category is projected to dominate the refrigerated transport market owing to its affordability and flexibility for navigating metropolitan regions. LCVs offer greater manoeuvrability, which makes them ideal for reaching smaller or congested delivery locations. These vehicles generally incur lower operating costs, such as fuel consumption and maintenance, as compared to larger vehicles, which again makes them more cost-effective for businesses. In addition, LCVs easily comply with regulatory requirements regarding vehicle size and weight restrictions in urban areas, which reduces the risk of penalties and legal issues for businesses. Therefore, these factors contribute to the dominance of light commercial vehicles in the refrigerated transport market.

Source: Fatpos Global

Market Dynamics

Growth Drivers

Expansion of the Food and Beverage Industry Will Support Development in the Market

Growth of the food and beverage industry due to various factors, such as the rising global population, is contributing to the high demand for sensitive goods like fresh meat and dairy products. This surge in demand requires an efficient and reliable refrigerated transport system to safely transport these products. Moreover, the change in consumer choices towards fresh and convenient food options has increased the demand for low-processed and ready-to-eat products. These products require controlled temperatures throughout the supply chain, which emphasizes the crucial role of refrigerated transport. Furthermore, the expansion of retail channels, such as online grocery shopping and delivery services, has created new opportunities for perishable food distribution. This expansion highlights the need for strong cold chain logistics to ensure the quality and safety of products during the last-mile delivery process.

Refrigerated Transportation Business is Benefiting from the Globalization of Supply Chains

Globalization of the food and beverage supply chain is becoming increasingly important due to various interconnected factors. Companies in this sector are extensively acquiring ingredients and finished products from diverse global regions to maximize cost savings and variety of product offerings. Therefore, depending on efficient refrigerated transportation to move goods across borders without compromising quality and safety standards is extremely crucial. Additionally, international trade agreements have helped in this process by reducing tariffs and simplifying cross-border trade, which makes it easier to transport perishable goods across continents. Furthermore, the demand of consumers for exotic and seasonal products is continuously rising across the world, owing to which there is an increasing need for advanced refrigeration systems.


Higher Operational and Energy Expenses are Limiting the Expansion of the Refrigerated Transport Industry

High costs in the refrigerated transportation business are due to several reasons, such as dependency on fuel and energy consumption. Diesel engines, which are often used to power refrigeration units in vehicles, majorly contribute to high fuel usage and make the industry sensitive to fuel price changes. Additionally, maintenance needs for refrigeration systems further increase operational costs, even when not actively cooling cargo. These operational challenges raise environmental concerns regarding greenhouse emissions and air pollution. However, multiple potential solutions exist to address these challenges, such as the adoption of alternative fuels and technologies such as biodiesel or electric-powered refrigeration units, which can reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Furthermore, implementing technologies such as hybrid or electric refrigeration can improve energy efficiency, while better insulation materials in refrigerated vehicles can lower energy demands.

Recent Developments

  • In 2023, Carrier Transicold introduced the NaturalLine E Series reefer units, that are designed for urban deliveries and offer zero emissions and reduced noise pollution. They have also successfully acquired TRS Transportation Services, which expanded their service network and strengthened their position in the Southeast US Market.
  • In 2023, Daikin Industries Ltd, developed the EnviROLINE series of refrigerants which offer a more sustainable alternative to traditional refrigerants. They have also partnered with Hitachi Transportation System, which focuses on developing jointly designed and manufactured sustainable cold chain solutions.
  • In 2023, Maersk Line invested in smart reefer containers with real-time temperature monitoring and remote-control capabilities. They have also expanded their network of refrigerated warehouses and inland transportation services to offer end-to-end cold chain solutions.
  • In 2023, Singamas Container Holdings, developed remote container monitoring systems which use shore power or external sources to eliminate the need for onboard diesel generators, reducing emissions. They have significantly provided and developed a real-time data system that can provide real-time data on container temperature, location, and other parameters.
  • In 2023, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the next-generation DIA OCEAN reefer container featuring improved energy efficiency and remote monitoring capabilities.

Refrigerated Transport Market

Key Players:

  • Carrier Transicold
  • Daikin Industries Ltd.
  • Maersk Line
  • Singamas Container Holdings
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • China International Marine Containers (CIMC)
  • Ingersoll Rand
  • MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • Hyundai Motor Co.
  • Thermo King
  • GAH Refrigeration Ltd.
  • Schmitz Cargobull AG
  • Klinge Corporation
  • Hyundai Translead
  • Johnson Truck Bodies
  • Other Prominent Players (Company Overview, Business Strategy, Key Product Offerings, Financial Performance, Key Performance Indicators, Risk Analysis, Recent Development, Regional Presence, SWOT Analysis)

Regional Analysis

Refrigerated Transport Market is segmented based on regional analysis into five major regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. The Asia-Pacific region is at the forefront of the refrigerated transport market owing to its strong economic expansion, which results in high consumer demand for perishable goods and requires efficient refrigerated transport services. In addition, investments in cold chain infrastructure across various countries such as China, India, and Southeast Asia have accelerated the growth of the refrigerated transport market. The expanding middle-class population, alongside changing food choices and urbanization trends, has promoted the need for high-quality perishable items across the Asia Pacific region.

Conversely, North America will witness steady growth due to its well-established cold chain infrastructure. The region benefits from the adoption of advanced technology and a modern transportation network, which contributes to efficient and reliable refrigerated transport services. Besides, consumer awareness is rapidly increasing regarding food safety and quality due to which the demand for refrigerated transport solutions in North America is simultaneously growing. Therefore, while Asia-Pacific will dominate owing to economic growth and expanding cold chain infrastructure, North America will follow due to its established market dynamics and adoption of advanced technology.

Source: Fatpos Global

Impact of Covid-19 on Refrigerated Transport Market

COVID-19 epidemic had an enormous impact on the refrigerated transportation sector. Initially, the sudden emergence of the pandemic caused disruptions across global supply chains, which resulted in volatile shifts in demand and supply for perishable goods. Additionally, government-imposed lockdowns and travel restrictions, created logistical challenges and delays in transportation, thereby impacting the efficiency of refrigerated transport services. However, as the pandemic grew, there was an evident surge in demand for refrigerated transport for essential commodities like food and pharmaceuticals. Therefore, with consumers increasingly relying on e-commerce and home delivery services during lockdown periods, the market witnessed an urgent need for refrigerated transport to ensure the safe and timely delivery of perishable items.

Refrigerated Transport Market is further segmented by region into:

  • North America Market Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities, Y-o-Y Growth, CAGR – United States and Canada
  • Latin America Market Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities, Y-o-Y Growth, CAGR – Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe Market Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities, Y-o-Y Growth, CAGR – United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, NORDIC, Russia, Turkey, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific Market Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities, Y-o-Y Growth, CAGR – India, China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, and Rest of APAC
  • Middle East and Africa Market Size, Share, Trends, Opportunities, Y-o-Y Growth, CAGR – North Africa, Israel, GCC, South Africa, and Rest of MENA

Refrigerated Transport Market Scope and Segments:



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 6.3% from 2024-2034


Value (USD Billion)


Main Segments List

By Transport

  • Road
  • Sea
  • Air
  • Rail

By Application

  • Chilled Food
  • Frozen Food
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemicals
  • Others

By Vehicles

  • Light commercial vehicles (LCVs)
  • Medium-heavy commercial vehicles (MHCVs)
  • Heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs)

By Temperature

  • Single-temperature
  • Multi-temperature

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • Australia
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

The refrigerated Transport Market size was valued at USD 21.5 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach the value of USD 42 billion in 2034, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period.

Refrigerated Transport consists of transporting goods that require temperature-controlled environments to preserve these goods from any spoilage and their overall quality.

The Road segment and Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) segment accounted for the largest Refrigerated Transport Market share.

Key players in the Refrigerated Transport Market include Carrier Transicold, Daikin Industries Ltd., Maersk Line, Singamas Container Holdings, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, China International Marine Containers (CIMC), Ingersoll Rand, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hyundai Motor Co., Thermo King, GAH Refrigeration Ltd., Schmitz Cargobull AG, Klinge Corporation, Hyundai Translead, Johnson Truck Bodies, and Other Prominent Players.

The refrigerated transport market is influenced by factors such as the food and beverage industry expansion and the globalization of supply chains.

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