Schedule reliability in ocean shipping remained low in May

12:19am 2nd July 2021





Schedule reliability in ocean shipping, which has been largely consistent these past few months, albeit at a much lower level than the industry stakeholders would have preferred, declined by 0.2 percentage points in May on the previous month to 38.8%,new analysis by Sea-Intelligence has revealed.

Its latest Global Liner Performance (GLP) report, which spans 34 different trades lanes and includes 60+ carriers, showed that on a year over year (Y/Y) level, schedule reliability was down a “massive” 36.0 percentage points.

The average delay for late vessel arrivals on the other hand had been improving since March 2021. In May 2021 however, the average delay increased slightly by 0.05 days to 5.86 days. The level of delays in 2021 have been the highest across each month when compared to the previous years.


Fig. 1 Global Schedule Reliability

Maersk Line was the most reliable top-14 carrier in May 2021, with schedule reliability of 46.2%. Three more carriers had schedule reliability higher than 40%, with six carriers between 30%-40%, and four under 30%. Evergreen had the lowest schedule reliability in May 2021 of 25.1%.

Six carriers recorded a month over month (M/M) improvement in May 2021, although the largest improvement recorded by MSC was of just 2.3 percentage points. The largest M/M decrease was of 14.4 percentage points recorded by Wan Hai, the only carrier to record a double-digit M/M decline. None of the top-14 carriers recorded a Y/Y improvement in schedule reliability, with all carriers recording double-digit declines of over 33.0 percentage points.

Sea-Intelligence’s analysis also highlighted the number of vessel arrivals subject to extreme delays - defined as delays of over seven calendar days.

On the Asia-North Europe trade lane, 461 vessel arrivals were more than seven days late in January-May 2021, of which 134 were more than 14 days late, and 30 were more than 21 days late. This compares to 792 vessel arrivals being more than seven days late in the nine  -year period from January 2012 to December 2020.

In the same period, 35 vessel arrivals were more than 14 days late, and just two vessel arrivals were more than 21 days late.

Fig 2. Extreme Delays on Asia-NEUR

On the Asia to North America West Coast trade lane, in January-May 2021, a “staggering” 695 vessel arrivals were over a week late, of which 343 vessel arrivals were more than 14 days late, with 132 of the vessel arrivals being more than 21 days late.

For comparison, from January 2012 to December 2020, 1,535 vessel arrivals were more than a week late, 330 were more than two weeks late, and a combined 104 vessel arrivals were over 21 days late.

“Port congestion is far from over, that much is clear by our analysis. In just May 2021, 174 vessels that berthed in North American ports on the Transpacific trade were over seven days late. On Asia-Europe, the number was 114. On Transatlantic, the number was 169, while it was 99 on the Asia-Indian Subcontinent trade and 134 on Asia-Oceania. This is a staggering amount of late vessel arrivals,” Sea-Intelligence underlined.

Images: Alamy

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