- World: China and Denmark are the world's major reefer container manufacturers, and the refrigerating equipment used in China is generally US technology produced under licence in China . In 2002, over 80% of all reefer containers produced worldwide were made in China . The world's top 3 ports in terms of containers handled are: Hong Kong , Singapore and Shanghai and the number of container ships in operation worldwide had reached 2782 early in 2003, and Germany , with 788 container ships, was first in terms of ownership. Source: Fruit World , China - South Asia Special, 2004. - US: - Rising demand for commercial refrigeration in the US : it is predicted that demand will rise 5.5% over the next 3 years, reaching 8.6 billion USD by 2008. Growth is expected to be strongest in cryogenic equipment, display cases and beverage cooling cabinets. Source: RAC, February 2005. - Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump sales in the US reached arecord 7 401 067 in 2004, this being 8% up on 2003. A growing housing market and strong replacement sales are driving expansion. Source: Koldfax, February 2005. - The US ice-cream market grew 24% between 1998 and 2003 thanks to new products and demand driven by children. Manufacturers are developing products with lower fat and sugar content. Four manufacturers, Unilever, Ice Cream Partners, Dreyers Ice Cream and Blue Bell Creameries, have the lion's share of the market. Further growth is predicted, particularly for novelty and low-calorie, low-sugar and low-carb products. www.preparedfoods.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,1231,122727,00.html - Europe: - An International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) survey shows that cold stores in Europe report an upturn in business. Ammonia plants (96.6% of all plants) dominate European installations and carbon-dioxide compressors are gaining ground. European operators are investing heavily in computer technology. QuickFrozen Foods International, July 2004. - QuickFrozen Foods International (July 2004) has published reports on quick-frozen food consumption in Germany and Scandinavia . Among trends that emerge: hard discounters such as the German Lidl are expanding fast in Denmark, per-capita consumption of frozen food in Germany is now 34.6 kg. In Sweden, the restaurant trade accounts for 35% of sales of frozen foods, and the retail sector the remaining 65% (in Japan and the US, these trends are reversed). Swedish per-capitaconsumption of frozen foods is now 51.4 kg, probably making Sweden second only to the UK . Bakery products and chicken are drivers of the Swedish market (up 13% and 14% respectively in 2003).