CONGESTION at ports on the US west coast and implementation of new shipping alliance networks are prompting schedule reliability to fall to record lows.
On-time performance, based on when a ship arrives at berth, declined to 67.8 per cent in January on 10,762 vessel arrivals, from 71.2 per cent in December.
That is according to the Global Liner Performance report prepared by the consulting firm SeaIntel with data from INTTRA.
Container delivery measured by the "gate out" time when a container leaves a terminal, dropped to 49.1 per cent on three million container arrivals.
"The decline in schedule reliability means that 2015 starts out slightly lower than 2014 did, but significantly lower than both 2012 and 2013," SeaIntel was cited as saying in a report by American Shipper.
Reliability in the eastbound transpacific trade, hard hit by congestion and the PMA-ILWU labour negotiations, decreased for the sixth month in a row to 42.5 per cent. That statistic was based on 1,125 vessel arrivals.
Container delivery decreased to 26.7 per cent. Both scores represent a new record-low performance in the trade lane.
"There seems to be no end to how low schedule reliability can go, but it is clear that some carriers are better equipped to cope with the challenges on the US west coast than others," said SeaIntel analyst at Morten Berg Thomsen.
"With the labour dispute in the west coast ports seemingly resolved, we should expect to see an improvement in performance later in the year, but it will take several months before the backlog is cleared."
On time performance was also lower in January in the Asia-North Europe trade lane at 68.6 per cent based on 739 vessel arrivals, and the Asia-Mediterranean trade at 68.7 per cent based on 750 vessel arrivals.