Container carrier schedule reliability globally declines 3pc in 2013
MAERSK Line remains the top container shipping line in terms of schedule reliability for the second year in a row, however, its performance decreased by three percentage points in 2013 compared to the previous year to 88 per cent.
On the whole, schedule reliability for container lines globally deteriorated last year, declining by 1.1 percentage points year on year to 79.5 per cent, according to data collected by Copenhagen-based research group SeaIntel Maritime Analysis on 200 ports across dozens of trade lanes.

Staying in second and third place for a second consecutive year were Hamburg Sud and APL, which also both saw marginal decreases in their schedule reliability.

"All the main trade lanes have seen a decline in schedule reliability, with the exception of the transpacific eastbound trade lane, which has improved its performance with 0.7 percentage points from 2012 to 2013," SeaIntel said in its newsletter.

The service gap between the best and worst performing carriers is closing. In the first and second quarters of 2012, the difference was 29 and 22 percentage points respectively. That gap narrowed to between 12 and 15 percentage points for all the quarters of 2013.

Increased co-operation among shipping lines, either through alliances or vessel-sharing agreements, slot purchases and swaps were the most probable reasons for the narrowing gap, according to SeaIntel chief operating officer and partner Alan Murphy.

The worst performers in 2013 were Mediterranean Shipping Co, Zim and CSAV, with performances of 74.4 per cent, 74.6 per cent and 76.5 per cent, respectively.

Shippers were worst served in the Asia to Mediterranean trade lane.