Maersk Line hangs on to top spot for schedule reliability
DENMARK's Maersk Line has retained its title as the world's most reliable shipping company in the third quarter, according SeaIntel's calculations, while schedule reliability dipped globally.
The world's leading carrier recorded a score of 83.9 per cent, down from 85.7 per cent the previous quarter. Schedule reliability among the top 20 global carriers declined from 75.5 per cent in the second quarter to 71.7 per cent in the third quarter.

The decline in schedule reliability was caused by congestion at hub ports in northern Europe, the US and Asia, particularly, Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

"We understand that the decline in the ratings is a result of the bottlenecks in the ports," head of operations Keith Svendsen said. "We are pleased that Maersk Line retained its number one position. Our ambition remains to maintain industry leadership in schedule reliability."

For the tenth quarter in a row, Maersk Line has been named best in the Asia-North Europe trade lane with a schedule reliability of 95.5 per cent. In the Asia-Mediterranean network, the Maersk came in second behind CSAV and CMA CGM. Yet small carriers dominate the eastbound Transpacific route.

Two months before the implementation of the 2M alliance with MSC, Maersk Line was set to deliver a stronger network in the east-west trades for its customers. To safeguard its stronghold on reliability performance, the Danish company has put into place, together with MSC, clear parameters.

One of the agreed standards for the new network is to deliver upper quartile schedule reliability as measured by SeaIntel.

A joint coordination committee to be manned by personnel from both lines will be tasked with implementing agreed procedures, monitoring network stability, liaising with both carriers on recovery actions for delayed vessels, and recommend improvements in the overall network efficiency.

In a related development, global shipping volume handled by ports worldwide is projected to rise to up to one billion TEU by the end of the decade, up from 623 million TEU in 2013.

Speaking at a seminar in London, Drewry Maritime Research senior manager Dinesh Sharma warned that ports both big and small will come under increasing pressure to provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate this rapid growth in demand, with particular regards to carriers upsizing vessels.