Hong Kong Strike Impairs Ship and Container Reliability
Ship-level and container-level reliability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) decreased in the second quarter of 2013, according to Drewry’s quarterly report Carrier Performance Insight, just published.
Despite improvements in East-West trade reliability, the average on-time performance of containerships across all trades covered declined to 70.5%, down from 72.8% in the first quarter.
The average on-time performance has now declined for two consecutive quarters and the latest result was the worst since the first quarter of 2012 (69.3%) and was 2.8 percentage points lower than recorded in the same quarter last year.
It was expected that Asia-linked routes would struggle to maintain timeliness due to the disruption caused by the 40-day strike action at the port of Hong Kong during April and May.
“While Asia-Europe and transpacific services would theoretically also have been affected by the strike, as our ship reliability results prove, it did not impair reliability in those trades at all,” said Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry.
“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.
“Another reason is operational. In many cases 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 usurped Maersk Line as the most reliable major carrier (defined as having a minimum of 100 voyage counts and 40 ship operated voyages per quarter) with an all-trades on-time average of 83.7% in the fourth quarter.
As to be expected from related KPIs, container-level data showed similar declines with all four main container KPIs declining by at least one percentage point in the second quarter. Most significantly, the ‘On-time Shipment of Cargo’ KPI which measures the timeliness of a container being loaded on to the ship slipped by two percentage points to 70%.