Record-low global schedule reliability of liner shipping
On 17 December, Copenhagen-based maritime analyst Sea-Intelligence released its Global Liner Performance Report, with schedule reliability figures up to and including November 2020.
The report found that average global carrier schedule reliability across 34 trade lines dropped to just 50.1% last month, which means that for the fourth consecutive month global schedule reliability has been the lowest across all months since Sea-Intelligence introduced the reliability benchmark in 2011. Compared to November 2019, schedule reliability is -29.8 percentage points lower. In November 2018 and 2019, carrier services were far more reliable, averaging 75.5% and 80% reliability, respectively.
There is also a similar trend with the average delay for LATE vessel arrivals, with consecutive month-on-month increases recorded for the past three months, amounting to 5.10 days in November. The 2020 figure for the average delay for LATE vessel arrivals has been the highest overall in each month since April 2020, according to Sea-Intelligence.
In November 2020, Hamburg Süd was the most reliable carrier with 61.5% schedule reliability. Rounding out the top five were Maersk Line (56.2%), CMA CGM (53.7%), Wan Hai (51.9%) and MSC (50.9%). Only COSCO and OOCL recorded a month-on-month improvement in schedule reliability, whereas none of the carriers recorded a year-on-year improvement in schedule reliability, with Hamburg Süd recording the smallest decline of a staggering -27.0 percentage points.
This slump in schedule reliability coincided with the carriers’ introduction of capacity on the major trade lanes above and beyond. With news of widespread port congestion, and with carriers not letting off capacity-wise (especially on the major trades) until at least Chinese New Year, there might not be improvements in schedule reliability until the Q2 in 2021, Sea-Intelligence forecasted.