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  August 28th, 2015 | Written by

East-West Liner Reliability Slips for First Time in Six Months

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  • Liner reliability remains above the level it was in 2014 when east-west on-time ratio was 59 percent.
  • For the first time, a carrier other than Maersk Line—MOL—topped Drewry’s monthly on-time rankings.
  • Drewry expects to see an improvement in Asia-Europe reliability with the expanded Suez Canal.

Breaking a run of six consecutive months of improvement, container service reliability across the three main east-west trades declined in July, falling by four percent from June to 73.3 percent, according to a report released last week by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The latest overall monthly performance was the result of lower reliability scores in the Asia-Europe and transpacific trades. Service punctuality for the smaller transatlantic route reached a new high.

The Asia-Europe trade slipped by 4.1 points but that was still enough to be the second best in Drewry’s data series at 78.2 percent. Services in the transpacific fell further back by 6.1 points to 62.5 percent, while the transatlantic experienced a rise of 5.6 points to a new on-time performance record of 79.6 percent.

Despite the set-back in July, reliability remains well above the level it was at the same point in 2014 when the east-west trades’ on-time average ratio was only 59 percent.

For the first time, a carrier other than Maersk Line topped Drewry’s monthly rankings as MOL achieved the best on-time performance in July of 80.1 percent. MOL’s reliability ratio was actually slightly lower than for June but it was sufficient to push Maersk down into second place as the Danish carrier fell back by five percent to 79.8 percent. The least reliable carriers in July were Wan Hai, with 57-percent on-time performance and PIL, at 56.6 percent.

Drewry expects to see an improvement in reliability in the Asia-Europe trade in the near future as a consequence of the expanded Suez Canal, which is expected to reduce convoy transits down from 18 to 11 hours, while waiting times will be no more than three hours instead of the eight to 11 hours they are now.

“Suez being turned into a two-lane maritime highway, from what could have been described as a congested single country lane,” said Simon Heaney, senior manager of supply chain research at Drewry, “will not only improve capacity, but will also speed transit times and reduce delays.”