China’s Refrigerated Truck Market Development in 2019 and 2020

Sep 30,2020

What is Refrigerator Truck?

A refrigerated truck is a specialized transport vehicle equipped with a thermal-insulated truck body and mechanical refrigeration system. It is composed of special truck chassis (walking part), thermal-insulation compartment, transport refrigeration unit, truck body temperature recorder and other components. Refrigerated truck can be manufactured into different compartment layouts for different loading needs, for example the added installation of ventilation system, truck shelves, suspension devices etc.
Generally, refrigerated trucks can be classified into two categories: 1) for transporting perishable food; 2) transporting biological products.
Usage  Transport perishable food   Biological products
Classification A B C D E F G H
Average compartment temperature 12℃—0℃ 12℃— -10℃ 12℃— -20℃ ≤0℃ ≤-10℃ ≤-20℃ 8℃— -12℃ ≤-20℃
Table 1: Classification table of refrigerated trucks according to the average temperature of the compartment

The average temperature in the cabin refers to the adjustable range of the cabin temperature when the ambient temperature is 30℃
According to the required temperature for food transportation, cold chain transportation can be subdivided into three categories, namely: fresh-keeping, chilled, and frozen.
Refrigerated trucks are often used to transport frozen foods, dairy products, vegetables and fruits, vaccines and medicines. They are the most important and least controllable link in cold chain transportation. They can be used for medium and long-distance transportation, and short-distance distribution.

Market Performance of China’s Refrigerated Truck Market in 2019 and 2020

1. Large decline in the first quarter

Due to the impact of the epidemic, refrigerated truck sales in the first quarter of 2020 were 6,654, declined by 32.30 percent, compared with the same period last year, and a month-on-month decrease of 41.37%.
From the perspective of monthly sales trends, the month-on-month increase is 474.76% in March, 2020. The growth is mainly because of
a)high demands during Chinese Spring Festival;
b)impact of the epidemic;
c)fewer implementation policy for the operation and supervision of the refrigerated truck market; d). advantaged policies on cold chain industry.
Judging from the trend in the period from 2019 to March 2020, the first four months was in the phase of adjustment. The month-on-month growth was relatively stable from May to December, 2019.
sales volume of refrigerated truck in China in 2019
Figure 1. the sales volume of refrigerated trucks in China during Jan. 2019 to Mar. 2020

Seeing from the sales trends from 2015 to 2019 (figure 2), the refrigerated truck markets in China has grown very obviously. The trend-line goes up, showing a steady increase in the sales of refrigerator vehicles in the past few years. Moreover, the annual sales growth has reached more than 8,000 units since 2016.
China's refrigerated truck sales volume during 2015 to 2019
Figure 2. line chart of China’s refrigerator vehicles sales volume from 2015 to 2019

2. Greater demands in economically developed provinces and cities

From the perspective of sales area, the refrigerated trucks are mainly sold to economically developed coastal areas such as Guangdong and Shandong Province. It also demonstrates that cities with great economy, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, have higher demands on refrigerated vehicles. In other words, because of the imbalance economy development and great climate differences between regions, it is uneven on the distributions of sales of refrigerated vehicles in China.
Cities with over 1,000 demand for refrigerated trucks from 2019 to March 2020
Figure 3. Cities with over 1,000 demand for refrigerated trucks from 2019 to March 2020

3. Top 10 refrigerated vehicles manufacturers in sales

The refrigerated truck sales of top 10 manufacturers reached to 44,263, taking up 81%. Among all the refrigerated vehicle suppliers, Beiqi Foton Motor has sold more than 10,000 units, accounting for 41%.
top 10 refrigerated trucks manufacturers in China
Figure 4. Sales data of top 10 refrigerated vehicle manufacturers in China

4. Light weight refrigerated vehicles sell best

Judging from the sales data from 2019 to March 2020, light refrigerated trucks are the best-selling vehicle, accounting for 69% (see Figure 5). It is worth noting that, among all the light weight vehicles, the sales of refrigerated vehicles that is with a total mass of 4,495kg reached 27,402 units, accounting for 72% of the sales of light vehicles and 50% of the total sales of refrigerated vehicles. Therefore, we can conclude that the 4495kg light weight refrigerated vehicle is the best-selling model in recent years.

Extension Reading:
How to Run a Refrigerated Truck Business?
Percentage of light, medium and heavy duty refrigerated vehicles
Figure 5. Percentage of light, medium and heavy duty refrigerated vehicles sales from 2019 to March 2020

5.Less demand for new energy refrigerated trucks

Judging from the sales of new energy refrigerated trucks, there is only a small amount of market demand in 2019, and 99% of refrigerated trucks are still ordinary refrigerated trucks.
sales of diesel engine and electric refrigerated vehicles
Vehicle Type Seller Sales (set)
Pure electric refrigerated vehicles Chery Automobile Co., Ltd., 121
Shaanxi Automobile Group Co., Ltd. 100
Shandong Jihai New Energy 29
Dongfeng Motor Corporation 21
Shanghai Wanxiang 12