Maersk and MSC's 2M slips in reliability but clings to top ranking
SCHEDULE reliability in the shipping industry was down during March, but the performance of the individual alliances varied greatly, according to SeaIntel research.
The 2M alliance, uniting Maersk and MSC, remained the best performer in east-west schedule reliability, according to the research, but only just, reported Lloyd's Loading List.

2M's 67.5 per cent schedule reliability put it slightly ahead of the CKYHE alliance's 65.8 per cent. The other newcomer, the Ocean 3 alliance of CMA CGM, UASC and CSCL, could only muster 61.1 per cent, putting it behind the G6 alliance at the bottom of the pack in March.

Viewed over the period in which the two new alliances have been operating, however, the data gives a different picture of performance.

The performance of the 2M alliance fell by 11.8 percentage points from just under 80 per cent, whereas the Ocean 3 carriers leapt 5.9 percentage points from 55 per cent reliability.

SeaIntel said it is still too early to determine whether Ocean Three's performance was hampered by start-up issues in January and will continue to improve, or if this is the level at which it can be expected to perform.

Transpacific services to the west and east coasts of the US were best served by the G6 and CKYHE alliances, both of which improved from January to March.

The 2M alliance again slipped over the period, and again by more than 11 percentage points, down to 24.1 per cent.

The Ocean 3 alliance, too, saw some improvement, but from a base level from which it would be hard to get worse. None of its scheduled transpacific services arrived on time in the January/February period, but one of its 46 vessel calls, or 2.2 per cent, arrived on schedule in February/March.

On the Asia-Europe trade lane, the 2M alliance was the best performing across the whole period, although the CKYHE alliance slipped by 0.5 percentage points at the end of March, according to SeaIntel.

"Before Maersk Line entered the 2M alliance, their average performance in this trade lane was 96.7 per cent from March 2014 to December 2014, and in January to March 2015 it has been 91.1 per cent," SeaIntel said.

"For MSC, the comparison looks much better, as their performance on average used to be 61.5 per cent, but rose to 91.1 per cent like Maersk Line. So clearly MSC has gained a much higher performance by entering into partnership with Maersk Line, while Maersk Line has seen a small drop."