Ocean carrier and container reliability decreased to 70.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, down from 72.8 percent in the first quarter, as Asia-linked routes showed the impact of the Hong Kong strike earlier this year, according to a report by Drewry Maritime Research.
Average on-time performance has now declined for two consecutive quarters and the latest result was the worst since the first quarter of 2012 when it was 69.3 percent. It was also 2.8 percentage points lower than recorded in the same quarter last year, according to the just published quarterly Carrier Performance Insight.
As expected, Asia-linked routes struggled to maintain timeliness due to the disruption caused by the 40-day strike at the port of Hong Kong in April and May.
But surprisingly, Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific services were not that badly hit. Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry, said, “One reason for the bigger statistical impact of the strike on regional Asia services is down to our methodology, which uses Hong Kong as the base port to capture ship arrival data, whereas other ports are used for Europe and U.S.-linked trades.”
Heaney said another reason was operational, as carriers simply diverted scheduled calls at Hong Kong to nearby ports, which would have limited any potential knock-on delays. “Hence, on longer distance trades when ships have more opportunity to catch up, the disruption would barely have caused a ripple.”
Yang Ming Transport usurped Maersk Line as the most reliable major carrier, which Drewry defined as having a minimum of 100 voyage counts and 40 ship-operated voyages per quarter. Yang Ming had an all-trades on-time average of 83.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.