Shipping Line Congestion Still a Problem

In July, schedule reliability among the world’s shipping lines fell for the first time since February, as congestion in northern Europe and on the US west coast took its toll on global performance.

Schedule reliability fell almost four percentage points from 75.6% in June to 71.6%.

July’s schedule reliability is based on a record number of vessel calls, with as many as 10,966 arrivals recorded.

In terms of individual carriers, Maersk Line, Hamburg Süd and Hanjin were again the three most reliable among the top 20 carriers in July, as in June, posting performance levels of 85.2%, 79.3% and 75.4%, respectively.

The report also shows that Hyundai Merchant Marine, MOL, NYK, all operating under the G6 Alliance, ranked in the bottom three of the world’s top 20 shipping lines.

The global decline in performance was evident nearly across the board, United Arab Shipping Co becoming the only top 20 carrier to improve its vessels’ schedule reliability.

The fast growing Dubai-based shipping line improved its monthly performance by 0.9 percentage points.

Schedule reliability also fell on all three of the major trade lanes, according to the SeaIntel report, with performance on the transpacific eastbound, Asia-Mediterranean and Asia-north Europe routes declining by 1, 4 and 6 percentage points.

The decline in vessel reliability between Asian and north European ports in July means that reliability on this route is as much as 20 percentage points down as the same period a year ago, said the consultants.

SeaIntel chief operating officer Alan Murphy said carriers had been hit hard by congestion in Rotterdam and Hamburg in Europe and by service disruption at several ports on the west coast of the US, including Long Beach, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

“The congestion has had a negative impact on schedule reliability and container delivery in July, as vessel turnaround times have increased with delays spreading to inland distribution of containers,” Mr Murphy said.