"Reliability," or due dilligence, if you like, is a crucial factor in enabling Maersk Line to retain its reputation among high-end customers such as Nike or H&M, which is why the shipping company immediately directed resources to analyzing the numbers published by British analysts Drewry on Thursday night last week.
In a surprising turn of events, the numbers showed that the otherwise reliable Maersk Line had been overtaken for the title as the world's most reliable container carrier by Korean Hanjin, even though there was no significant difference and both shipping companies were rated around 90 percent in the ports used by Drewry to measure the reliability.
According to SeaIntel, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd are by far the two most reliable carriers, in that order in the Top 20 for 2012 as a whole, as made evident in SeaIntel's weekly newsletter Sunday Spotlight. But there is fierce competition in the battle for reliability, and it would only take a few changes to alter the rankings, writes SeaIntel on Sunday.
As politicians follow the polls, the global container carriers are increasingly turning to the current reliability statistics.
Maersk Line, however, does not believe that the current rating by Drewry, which covers the last quarter of 2012, provides a real impression of the shipping company's abilities to arrive on time. The shipping company says the numbers represent a snapshot, and that reliability should be measured over time in order for it to make sense.
"We're serious about our reliability, and we expect customers to look at our total network over time. Over the past three years, it's only happened twice that we weren't number 1 at Drewry," says Keith Svendsen, Vice President at Maersk Line and Head of Execution.
Reliability should be measured in a broader context
The analysis performed by the shipping company, to which ShippingWatch has been granted access, states that Maersk Line believes in its own abilities, hoping that customers will be able to judge reliability in a broader context. Thus, the analysis points out the following:
- Maersk Line, with the Daily Maersk concept, occupies the number one spot, with a reliability of around 100 percent
- Maersk Line is number one on the Pacific
- Specifically, the shipping company is rated around 90 percent, as the downturn made for 0.6 percentage points, down to 89.9
- In the past three years, Maersk Line has been number 1 with Drewry every time expect two
The downturn in the 4th quarter 2012 came from three destinations, especially Sydney, where Maersk Line, according to the company's calculations, only lost the first place in November, whereas the Danish shipping company finished best in October and December. Sydney finished with a reliability of just 46 percent, according to the analysis, where Maersk Line points to the positive aspects of the numbers:
"We are pleased that the liner carriers are improving their reliability, as it generally benefits the customers and the industry," the company says in the analysis.
Stock analyst Ricky Rasmussen, Nykredit Markets, told ShippingWatch on Friday that "the competitors have discovered the benefits (of reliability, ed.) and embraced it," and that "it's surprising that they've come this close to Maersk Line."