Container carriers sailing schedules stability at historic low

Container line reliability continues to decline, and November marked another historic lowpoint. According to analyst firm Sea-Intelligence, shippers should not expect improvements in the short term.

Container shipping lines have never been as bad at arriving on time as in November, show new figures from analyst firm Sea-Intelligence.

Schedule reliability declined during November to 50.1 percent, which is the lowest level since Sea-Intelligence began measuring reliability in 2011. At the same time, it is a drop by an entire 29.8 percentage points compared to the same month last year.

Double digits decline for container carriers trustworthiness

It is the fourth month in a row that container line reliability drops by double digits.

“This slump in schedule reliability coincided with the carriers’ introduction of capacity on the major trade lanes above and beyond what we have seen before. With news of widespread port congestion, and with carriers not letting off capacity-wise (especially on the major trades) until at least Chinese New Year, shippers might not see improving schedule reliability until the Q2 in 2021,” says Sea-Intelligence Chief Executive Alan Murphy.

Maersk-owned carrier Hamburg Süd was the company with the highest schedule reliability in November. However, only Cosco and OOCL increased their reliability during the month compared to the November last year.