Reefer time-charter rates surged by 50% in the first quarter of 2021 on the back of disruption in container markets and an upturn in demand for traditional trades, marking the sector’s strongest run in a decade.

The ISB Seafield Reefer Index — measuring ­charter rates for vessels of between 260,000 cbf and 470,000 cbf — hit a seven-year high of 1,500 points in April, after owners sought to cash in on exceptional catches of squid off the coasts of Argentina and the Falkland Islands.