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Despite several mainline trades continuing to be marred by issues of port congestion and equipment availability, as well as ongoing diversions from the Red Sea, the latest data from analyst Sea-Intelligence showed a picture of improving schedule reliability in May.

According to the analyst’s monthly Global Liner Performance, industry-wide schedule reliability across all trades improved by 3.8 percentage points, compared with April, to reach 55.8%, which is the highest schedule reliability figure for the year so far – 1.2 percentage points higher than the previous highest figure of 54.6%, achieved in March.

schedule reliability

Source: Sea-Intelligence Consulting

However, it remained some 11 percentage points below May last year, and Sea-Intelligence chief executive Alan Murphy highlighted the fact that “despite the improvement in schedule reliability, the average delay for late vessel arrivals continued to deteriorate, increasing by 0.34 days month on month, to 5.1 days.

“This figure is now inching closer to the pandemic highs than the pre-pandemic lows. On a year-on-year level, the May 2024 figure was 0.73 days higher,” he said.

By carrier, CMA CGM was the most reliable of the major deepsea lines last month, hitting schedule reliability level of 57.1% during the month, while Singapore’s PIL was the least reliable, at 44.5%.

“There were another seven carriers above the 50% mark, with the remaining five  in the 40%-50% range,” said Mr Muphy.

“Ten of these carriers were able to record a month-on-month improvement in schedule reliability in May, with Maersk and CMA CGM recording the highest improvement, of six percentage points,” he added.

According to Sea-Intelligence, Wan Hai recorded the largest decline in reliability, with a drop of 4.5 percentage points.

schedule reliability

Source: Sea-Intelligence Consulting

Unsurprisingly, given the Houthi attacks and subsequent vessel diversions, as well as the outbursts of port congestion, comparisons with 2023 remain unfavourable.

“On a year-on-year level, none of the 13 carriers recorded an increase in schedule reliability, with eight recording double-digit year-on-year declines,” said Mr Murphy.


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