Slide in container carriers' reliability continues

Only two out of three times did container ships arrive on time in the first quarter this year. This is almost 10 percent less than at the end of last year, writes SeaIntel in a new analysis.

Photo: Pete (Wan Hai 206 At Hong Kong) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The liner companies' registered a massive slide in schedule reliability in the first quarter this year.

Container carriers' overall reliability finished at 66.4 percent in the first three months of the year, down 9.8 percent compared to the end of 2017 and 6 percent lower than in the same quarter last year.

"None of the top 17 carriers recorded a Y/Y improvement in their on-time scores, while only three carriers managed a Q/Q improvement, albeit by only a small margin," writes SeaIntel in the analysis:

"Wan Hai was the most reliable carrier in 2018-Q1, with schedule reliability of 80.6%, followed by Evergreen and APL with 71.3% and 71.0%, respectively."

The world's largest box carrier, Maersk Line, recorded a schedule reliability of 70.4 percent in the quarter, while the sector's second-largest player, MSC, was slightly lower, at 69.4 percent.

pålidelighed Q1.JPG

In terms of the alliances, the first quarter this year also showed a difference in schedule reliability. Ocean Alliance was the most reliable alliance in the quarter, followed by 2M and THE Alliance.

"Compared to the industry average, both Ocean Alliance and 2M had schedule reliability above the industry in January 2018, but since then, in February and March 2018, only Ocean Alliance was more reliable than the industry," writes SeaIntel.

However, the firm does not expect that reliability will necessarily recover in the second quarter this year, though this has often happened in other years, namely due to factors such as operations on the South American trades, which have been disrupted by Maersk Line's acquisition of Hamburg Süd.

The launch of Japan's Ocean Network Alliance (ONE) is also expected to create challenges.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

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