Home » Breaking News, Maritime » 1 in 4 box ships still behind schedule, says report

Container carriers’ schedule reliability improved to 72.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012, but service standards remained as low as 40 percent, a new quarterly report from a maritime research and consulting firm said.

Drewry Maritime Research’s latest Carrier Performance Insight incorporated new key performance indicators (KPIs) using data from e-commerce platform CargoSmart to measure the performance of box ships.

The latest result represents a 2.9 percentage point improvement on the previous record of 69.4 percent on-time average recorded in the last quarter of 2011 and means reliability gains over four consecutive quarters, the London-based company said in a statement on May 16.

The low success rate of the KPI for “elapsed time between shipping instruction & bill of lading issue” showed that roughly only 40 percent of shippers obtain BLs after three days of submitting the original shipping instruction, suggesting that there is still a lot of work required to improve certain commercial processes.

The variance between carriers’ success rates for this KPI was large, with a range of 0 percent to 93 percent across the five months between October 2011 and February 2012.

The KPI for “on-time shipment of cargo,” which measures whether a box leaves the first port of load as scheduled and is a crucial first step to schedule reliability, showed a consistent success rate of 66 percent to 70 percent in the same five months, CargoSmart’s data indicated.

That benchmark score indicates that delays are fairly common even before the box has been loaded on board, Drewry said.

Success rates were slightly better than the previous KPI, but still indicated that roughly one box in four spends longer at sea than planned, it added.

“Any improvement in reliability should be welcomed, but an average score of around 70% is still far too low for a key service industry to be happy with,” said Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry.

“Reliability remains an area that carriers can distinguish themselves from the competition. Shippers can play their part in driving future service quality by putting greater emphasis on reliability and other service criteria in their carrier selections,” added Heaney.

The most reliable carriers in the period were Maersk Line and its sister company Safmarine, followed by Hanjin Shipping, the report stated.

 

Photo: KDavidClark

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