Liner Reliability Improves in March - Global Trade Magazine
  April 27th, 2016 | Written by

Liner Reliability Improves in March

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  • On-time performance for ocean container carriers gained 5.5 points in March to reach 68 percent.
  • The improvement in ocean container carriers’ on-time performance was expected after Chinese New Year.
  • Drewry: Improvement in ocean container carrier reliability is encouraging at a time of low freight rates.

Ocean carriers bucked a five-month downward trend by improving container service reliability in March, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

The average on-time performance in March gained 5.5 points against February to reach 68 percent with an average deviation from the expected arrival at port of 1.0 days.

The improvement seen in March was expected as services returned closer to operational normality after Chinese New Year in February when carriers tinkered with void sailings to mitigate weaker demand. Eight of the 10 trades covered reported monthly improvements in reliability with the biggest seen in the Asia-Oceania and Europe-Middle East trades, which gained 14.2 points and 10.4 points respectively. Even the two trades that regressed, Asia-South America and Asia-South Asia, fell back by no more than a couple of points against their February performance.

Japanese line MOL was the most reliable carrier for the third month in a row with an on-time average of 76.3 percent for March, followed again by Maersk Line in second place with a performance of 73.1 percent. Only one of the 19 carriers tracked failed to improve reliability in March compared to February, while the gap from the most to least reliable carriers narrowed further to around 13 points.

“Despite the very welcome upturn in reliability performance the overall average remains marginally below that of January this year and about 10 points off the peak scores achieved in the second-half of 2015, indicating there is still much room for improvement,” said Simon Heaney, senior manager of supply chain research at Drewry. “The widespread improvement in reliability across the vast majority of trades and carriers in March is an encouraging sign that the need to provide reliable services to customers has not been forgotten at a time of historically low freight rates.”

Drewry’s new Carrier Performance Insight provides the ability to benchmark the reliability performance of container carriers on a port-to-port, trade lane, service, and industry-wide basis. This information is available via a website powered by data from global shipment management software solutions provider CargoSmart.

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