Ship and container reliability showed significant quarter-on-quarter increases in the fourth quarter of 2012, but the blank sailings planned for early this year could impact carriers’ timeliness, according to Drewry Maritime Research’s latest Carrier Performance Insight.
On-time ship arrivals across all trades increase to 79.9 percent in quarter four, a rise of 6.4 percentage points on the third quarter performance, and eclipsing the 75.7 percent set in the second quarter of 2012. On-time percentage stayed at 70 percent to 80 percent for the whole of 2012, breaching the 69 percent record monitored by Drewry since late 2005.
Hanjin Shipping overtook Maersk Line as the most reliable major carrier with an all-trades on-time average of 90.2 percent in the fourth quarter.
Container reliability improved as well, rising by at least 2 percentage points in the quarter, and the timeliness of a container being loaded onto the ship improved by 6 percentage points to 75 percent.
But the London-based research group said the ships’ reliability may suffer from the cancelled or blank sailings planned for the first quarter of 2013.
“While carriers deserve some plaudits for their improving reliability, a worrying trend for cancelled or blank voyages is emerging as carriers attempt to redress weak supply and demand fundamentals,” said Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry.
Heaney underscored the importance of letting shippers know ahead of time of any void sailings, especially if carriers want to justify future general rate increases. “It is difficult to make the case for rate hikes when the customer service is deteriorating,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Hanjin Shipping