Unlike their dry-cargo brethren, importers and exporters of refrigerated products have seen little relief in supply chain headaches amid slowing demand since last summer. Ocean freight rates remain stubbornly higher than normal, especially in the north-south trades, and service and equipment challenges have taken a toll on volumes to and from the US this year. Despite economic headwinds and a potential recession, demand has remained relatively strong. The biggest issue in declining volumes has been persistently high ocean transportation rates in the north-south trades, according to William Duggan, North American cold chain advisor at consulting firm Eskesen Advisory. As of the fall, higher transportation costs were prompting some food shippers to forgo harvesting their products or seek out domestic buyers, rather than selling products overseas, he said. This session, essential for all refrigerated transportation stakeholders, will analyze the state of the global cold chain as of TPM23 and how the year will likely play out for shippers.