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Global container service scheduled reliability has declined to its lowest levels since records began, according to new data from SeaIntelligence Consulting.
The analyst’s latest schedule reliability data for December shows just 44.6% of vessels arriving on time, “which means that for the fifth consecutive month, global schedule reliability has been the lowest across all months since Sea-Intelligence introduced the benchmark in 2011”.
It said December’s reliability index, which covers global shipping rather than a specific trade, had declined by 31.7 percentage points on December 2019.
SeaIntelligence Consulting chief executive Alan Murphy explained: “This slump in schedule reliability coincided with the carriers’ introduction of capacity on the major tradelanes, above and beyond what we have seen before.
“With continued widespread port congestion, and with carriers still not letting off capacity-wise (especially on the major trades) not even for Chinese New Year, shippers might not see improving schedule reliability until the second quarter of 2021,” he added.
Not a single carrier managed to improve reliability, year on year, although the analyst noted that HMM and Zim did manage to improve their reliability levels in December compared with November.
However, in comparison with December 2019, Sea Intelligence data shows the best performing carrier as Maersk, “recording the smallest decline of a still-staggering -27.5 percentage points”.
At the same time, the average delay of late vessels has also grown to an unprecedented high – last month the average delay of a late vessel had grown to 5.74 days.
This compares with an average vessel delay of 5.21 days in November 2020 and 4.02 days in December 2019.