Date: 29.03.2023

Vessel schedule reliability falls

The reliability of container shipping lines’ vessel schedules dropped at the beginning of 2023, with Sea-Intelligence reporting that schedule reliability improved for the majority of 2022, but a fall of 3.8% in January meant reliability sat at just 52.6%.

The vessel schedule reliability of all top 14 carriers fell in January 2023, with Wan Hai recording the biggest decline at 15.4% and Hapag-Lloyd the smallest at 0.4%.

ZIM was the least reliable carrier in January 2023 with schedule reliability of 41% In January, while Maersk was the most reliable line, with 58.3%, followed closely by MSC at 57.7%.

CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Süd’s schedule reliability passed 50%, with the remaining carriers recording schedule reliability of between 40 and 50%.

Despite January’s 3.8% schedule reliability fall to 52.6%, it is still considerably higher than the previous two years and sits some way above 2022’s dreadful schedule reliability of just 30.4%.

In January 2023, all carriers except for Hamburg Süd recorded double-digit year-on-year improvements in schedule reliability, while the average delay for late vessel arrivals is currently 5.26 days, a month-to-month improvement of 0.24 days.

From a low base, global vessel reliability improved throughout last year, particularly over the last quarter with almost 57% of all ships arriving on time at the end of the year, up from 30% in January 2022.

On the main shipping routes, the greatest improvement was seen for cargo from Europe to Asia, where reliability increased from 13% at worst to 52% now. 

In contrast, congestion on the US east coast led to the least improvement being seen among the major routes: from Asia to the US east coast and from Europe to the US east coast, where on both routes more than 40% of ships still do not arrive on schedule.

Overall vessel delays have improved significantly, meaning only 5.5% of the global container vessel fleet is unavailable due to delays and if operations continue to improve at the same pace, alongside the currently suppressed demand, global operational performance could return to normal over the next months.

The freight market is changing constantly, across all transport modes, routes and regions, which is why we work closely with our offices and network partners to monitor the global situation and share the latest intelligence, as it emerges.

To learn how we can help you avoid vessel delays, to develop supply chain resilience, or to request our regular ocean market report, please EMAIL our sea freight director, Andy Smith, who can advise on the best solutions for your ocean supply chain.