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SHIPS AND SHIPPING March 2011 9
Following two consecutive increases
in the second and third quarters of
2010, container service reliability
disappointingly fell back in the fourth
quarter, according to Drewry Maritime
Research's latest Schedule Reliability
The proportion of the 3,027 vessel calls
arriving on time at selected ports around
the world during October-December
decreased to 55 percent, down from 60
percent in the third quarter. The fourth
quarter reliability performance was slightly
better than the 53 percent on-time score
recorded in the same period of 2009.
The transpacific trade easily
outperformed the other major East-West
trades with an on-time percentage of 64
percent, an exact replica of the trade's
results from Q3. In comparison,
Asia/Europe/Med services slipped back by
16 points to 50 percent reliability, while
transatlantic services continued their fall
from the heady heights of Q2 by
registering an on-time score of 55 percent,
comparing unfavourably with the
previous quarter's 66 percent.
Drewry's report found that only eight of
the top 20 container lines, as ranked by
vessel TEU capacity, were able to improve
on the 55 percent on-time industry average,
and the same three carriers from the
previous quarter occupied the top positions
in the latest report albeit in slightly
different order: Maersk Line retained the
number one slot with an on-time score of
70.2 percent; APL grabbed second place
with 67.7 percent, while Hyundai Merchant
Marine was just edged out into the bronze
position with 67.6 percent.
"It is always difficult explaining
fluctuations in service reliability, but
considering the near universal declines it
is fair to say that most of the big carriers
were caught out by the unusually bad
weather and port disruptions in the fourth
quarter," said Simon Heaney, editor of
Schedule Reliability Insight.
Only three of the major carriers, MOL,
K-Line and CSAV managed to improve
their reliability percentages in 4Q10,
with CSAV achieving the biggest rise of
9.9 points from a low base of 35.6
percent in 3Q10.
"Hopefully, these worse than expected
results were just a blip caused by events
outside of carriers' control," said Heaney.
"From talking to carriers, we know that
many view reliability as a key differentiator,
so we would expect that to translate into
higher on-time percentages in the near
future. We certainly urge shippers to make
schedule integrity a key component in the
next round of global tenders."
Drewry anticipates that the 1Q11
reliability performance will suffer as a
consequence of events in Egypt as liner
operations face extensive delays even if
the Suez Canal remains open.
Drewry's report found that only eight of the top 20 container lines, as ranked by vessel TEU capacity,
were able to improve on the 55 percent on-time industry average, with Maersk in the top slot
Container carriers suffer reliability declines to 55 percent "on-time"
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