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The global road transport refrigeration equipment market was valued at USD 3.74 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.90 billion in 2022 to USD 5.33 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with road transport refrigeration equipment experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth rate of 2.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
A piece of control equipment that allows the container or trailer i.e. are loaded, unloaded, or parked to switch the product temperature is known as road transport refrigeration equipment. The engines used in this type of equipment are either diesel or electric.
Transport refrigeration systems are being used to keep frozen and chilled products at a constant temperature. Cooling systems built for road transport vehicles such as vans, trucks, and trailers are being used as road transport refrigeration equipment.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are in high demand, and this trend is expected to continue. It is due to the refrigeration trucks' ability to carry meat, dairy, and pharmaceutical items quickly and safely. Furthermore, emerging nations throughout the world are focusing on building cross-continent highway networks to provide continuous road freight transit, which is propelling worldwide market expansion. Furthermore, major manufacturers' replacement of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants is projected to minimize global warming effects and contribute to market development throughout the projection period.
Rise in Refrigerated Food Products to Increase Demand for Refrigeration Equipment During COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had imposed an enormous strain on transportation and logistics, as well as demands were also shifted dramatically. COVID-19 has had a considerable influence on road transport refrigeration, as the refrigeration sector in a whole was suffering from lower inventory and higher demand. In addition, food, mostly meat and dairy products, were delivered by road in refrigerated containers. Additionally, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), due to restrictions such as crew change limitations, required quarantines, and extra screening during transportation had decreased the transportation of refrigerated containers by 8.0%.
However, the market is expected to have positive growth and is anticipated to exhibit the same in the future. The positive growth is attributed to the increased consumption of refrigerated food products and packed food products to stockpile essential groceries and minimize trips to stores and supermarkets. Furthermore, the worldwide vaccination programs are running extensive pace, which also need refrigerated transportation and storage.
Moreover, according to the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), responding manufacturers are optimistic about the success of truck refrigeration operations. Additionally, inventions such as all-electric transport refrigeration equipment and low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants are expected to reduce cold chain emissions. Therefore, Manufacturers are optimistic about the exponential global truck refrigeration market growth during the forecast period.
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Pharmaceutical Cold Chain Logistics Advancement to Spur Growth
Presently, the shipping of pharmaceutical goods using road transport refrigeration systems requires a high degree of skill. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PRMA), at least seven out of ten of the country's largest pharmaceutical businesses require temperature-controlled transportation. Furthermore, Multiple logistic operations, such as supply, transit, storage, and end-user, are all part of the pharmaceutical industry's supply chain. In addition, pharmaceutical businesses, including AbbVie, Inc., McKesson Canada, Eli Lilly and Company, GlaxoSmithKline plc, MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, Roche Holding AG, and others rely on cold chain logistics for secure transportation of goods. Therefore, cold chain logistics service providers emphasized regulating the temperature throughout the route as temperature variations of just 2 degrees can cause a deterioration of pharmaceutical products.
Moreover, the demand for truck refrigeration is anticipated to increase as middle-class living standards are rising to result in an abundance of frozen food. Furthermore, the fast-paced life, day-to-day work, a developing lifestyle & others, are increasing the demand for ready-to-eat and frozen foods, which is driving up demand for frozen foods and vegetables.
Hence, these logistics advancements and increased demand for frozen food are further contributing toward the global truck refrigeration market growth.
Consistent Increase in Demand for Frozen Food Products to Boost Market
The food and beverage industry is utilizing freezing technology as it allows them to store items for a longer period of time. The use of industrial freezing for the preservation of food for a long time has exhibited major growth. Furthermore, governments all across the world are concerned about limited availability and wastage of food and vegetables during off-seasons. Additionally, ever-increasing food waste is a major problem that endangers the environment and natural resources.
Therefore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cornell University, and the Food Marketing Institute have introduced a virtual guidebook that includes information on how long most common foods can be stored in a freezer to avoid the negative effects of left-over food. As a result, consumers will have access to a variety of options for avoiding food waste and storing food for off-season use.
Furthermore, several developed and emerging countries are concentrating their efforts on building cross-continental, cross-country, and cross-regional highways that will allow carriers to transport their goods and products to remote locations. Previously, road communication between nations and states was exceedingly difficult and inconvenient, preventing food and produce movement. Hence, the market is likely to be driven by rising government efforts for highway development projects in near future.
Health Issues Related to Consumption of Frozen Food & High Maintenance Cost of Transportation to Hinder Market Growth
Generally, fruits and vegetables are preserved in frozen units by adding chemical preservatives, such as sulphites, nitrates, nitrites, sorbates/sorbic acid, and sometimes nuclear radiations. Furthermore, these preservatives are added to decrease the rate of microbial growth, which further allows retaining the eating quality of the product. Therefore, the adoption of frozen foods has decreased over the past few years, which has ultimately affected the growth of the road transport refrigeration unit.
Moreover, the global market is being hampered by obstacles such as a lack of transportation infrastructure in emerging nations, rising fuel prices, and product maintenance during transit. In addition, poor road conditions might result in weak connections and gas leaks, further limiting its usage. Additionally, in developing nations, continuing road-building in remote locations is causing disruption impeding the market. Also, due to high operating costs of fuel technologies, an increase in fuel costs is likely to stifle growth. However, developed countries are pouring money into road improvements to reduce gas leakage from transport refrigeration units.
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Vans & Light Trucks Segment to Hold Major Market Owing to Increased E-Commerce Deliveries
By install vehicle, the market is divided into vans & light trucks, heavy trucks, and trailers.
Vans & light trucks are anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR throughout the forecast period as they readily transport products in compact locations and small urban roadways & also owing to the increased E-commerce deliveries in developed and emerging cities.
Refrigerated trailer is expected to have the largest market share as its cost-effective and can hold the most items. It also has multi-temperature modules, which allow different types of items to be transported in a single journey, minimizing the need for multiple trips.
Heavy trucks are expected to grow significantly due to their payload capacity and the ability that they may be equipped with a variety of mechanical refrigeration systems driven by minor transposition of engines that are diesel or use carbon dioxide i.e. either as in liquid form or in dry ice as a conserving agent.
Single Temperature to Dominate Market due to its Increased Penetration
By mode of operation, the market is segmented into a single temperature and multi-temperature.
The market is majorly driven by single-temperature refrigeration equipment. The market penetration of multi-temperature refrigeration units has been modest due to the recent launch and delayed acceptance of multi-temperature refrigeration systems in most areas.
Multi-temperature trailers are projected to grow at a faster rate than heavy vehicles and small trucks as the trailers have more storage capacity for various items at different temperatures. In addition, most road transport refrigeration equipment customers in developed countries choose multi-temperature units, even if they only function in single temperature mode, to reduce the number of trips required for transportation. It is often utilized for urban distribution since it saves money on transportation.
Vehicle-Powered Refrigeration Units to Hold Largest Market Share
By power source, the market is categorized into self-powered and vehicle-powered.
The market share of vehicle-powered refrigeration systems is predicted to grow during the forecast period. Conventional diesel-powered road refrigeration system units are losing market share every year as alternative technologies such as battery-powered and all-electric refrigeration systems become more widely available. In addition, most businesses are aiming to expand their metropolitan delivery fleet with more fuel-efficient cars.
Refrigerated Food & Pharmaceuticals Application to Augment Market Growth
By application, the market is segmented into pharmaceutical and other healthcare products, food and beverage products, and floral products.
Refrigerated food and pharmaceutical applications are expected to grow rapidly, as the market for frozen and processed foods, as well as pharmaceutical items, is significantly increasing in every area. Also, the demand for fast cold chain transportation has increased in recent years as the global commerce of perishable goods also exhibited substantial growth.
North America Road Transport Refrigeration Equipment Market Size, 2021 (USD billion)
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The scope of the report comprises five major regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.
North America is projected to have the leading position in the market due to the rising demand for processed foods and increased expenditures in the development of the cold supply chain across Canada and the U.S. Furthermore, trade agencies, organizations, and cold chain associations are focusing on building truck refrigeration networks through a better regulatory framework, which is complementing the market's regional expansion.
Moreover, Canada is expected to show major growth during the forecast period. It is attributed to the rising demand for frozen foods in the country. In addition, as frozen foods and vegetables are available year-round, the market for them is constantly rising. Additionally, due to lack of time, customers choose to buy processed and frozen fruits and vegetables. As a result, the market for transport refrigeration units is likely to increase promptly in the near future. However, technological advances in refrigeration units are expected to grow the road transport refrigeration equipment market share globally.
Asia Pacific has a lot of commercial prospects for the cold chain industry, comprising storage and shipping. Additionally, increased government support and initiatives in the road refrigeration industry, as well as increased consumer demand for perishable foods, are further contributing toward the road transport refrigeration equipment market growth.
Furthermore, in Europe almost 25%-35% of the population purchased online food and groceries which results in an increasing need for vans & truck refrigeration. In addition, the building of the world's longest commerce network, stretching from China to Europe and linking 65% of the world's population, is projected to boost the road refrigeration transport business.
The Middle East & Africa and Latin America are estimated to exhibit constant progression during the forecast period. Additionally, the sales at supermarkets/hypermarkets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have seen a significant rise. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is expected to raise its share of GCC food consumption that necessitates truck refrigeration equipment in the region.
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Latin America is projected to be fueled by the increasing middle-class population and strengthening economy in Brazil, Mexico, and others along with the expansion of refrigerated vans, trucks, and trailers in the area.
Leading Players Emphasizing More on Developing & Delivering Eco-friendly and Energy-efficient Products
Leading manufacturers focusing on creating eco-friendly refrigeration units for road transport refrigeration equipment’s that are equipped with cutting-edge technology with the restricted use of diesel. Furthermore, to lower the rate of global warming, manufacturers are creating electrical, solar-powered, and battery-powered refrigeration systems. In addition, manufacturers ranging from huge multinational organizations to small privately-held businesses hold almost 54.78% of the market.
An Infographic Representation of Road Transport Refrigeration Equipment Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It provides information about leading companies along with their business overview, types, and leading applications of the product. In addition, it offers insights into the SWOT analysis, competitive landscape, along with ongoing market trends and highlights key drivers and restraints. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report includes numerous aspects contributing to the market growth in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
Install Vehicle, Mode of Operation, Power Source, Application, and Region
By Install Vehicle
By Mode of Operation
By Power Source
As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the global market value stood at USD 3.74 billion in 2021.
By 2029, the global market value is expected to reach USD 5.33 billion.
The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6%, exhibiting moderate growth during the forecast period (2022-2029)
North America is expected to hold a dominant market share, with its value standing at USD 1.76 billion in 2021.
Within the install vehicle segment, vans & light trucks segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
Consistent increase in demand for frozen food products will boost the market.
Carrier (Carrier Transicold) (U.S.), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems Ltd.) (Japan), Trane Technologies plc (Thermo King Corporation & FrigoBlock Grosskopf GmbH) (U.S.), and Daikin Industries Ltd. (Zanotti S.p.A.) (Italy) are the top companies.
The major players in the market constitute 61% - 65% of the market, which is majorly owed to their brand name and presence in multiple regions.
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