Global schedule reliability reaches YTD high

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In May 2024, global schedule reliability rose by 3.8% from April to 55.8% with notable gains on the Asia to NAWC route. May was the best performance yet for 2024, but still 11.0% lower year-on-year.

Sea-Intelligence has published a new issue of its Global Liner Performance report, with schedule reliability figures up to and including May 2024.

In May 2024, global schedule reliability improved by 3.8% compared to April 2024, to 55.8%. This is now the highest schedule reliability figure for 2024, and 1.2% higher than the previous highest figure of 54.6%.

On a year-on-year comparison, however, schedule reliability in May 2024 was -11.0% lower. Despite the improvement in schedule reliability, the average delay for late vessel arrivals deteriorated, increasing by 0.34 days M/M to 5.10 days. This figure is now inching closer to the pandemic highs than the pre-pandemic lows. On a Y/Y level, the May 2024 figure was 0.73 days higher.

CMA CGM was the most reliable top-13 carrier in May 2024 with schedule reliability of 57.1%. There were another 7 carriers above the 50% mark, with the remaining 5 carriers in the 40%-50% range. PIL was the least reliable carrier with schedule reliability of 44.5%.

Ten of these carriers were able to record a M/M improvement in schedule reliability in May 2024, with Maersk and CMA CGM recording the highest improvement of 6.0%. Wan Hai recorded the largest decline of -4.5%. On a Y/Y level, none of the 13 carriers recorded an increase in schedule reliability, with 8 carriers recording double-digit Y/Y declines.

Transpac to NAWC sees improvement

The trend of improving schedule reliability can be seen across the trade lanes as well, as 29 trade lanes were down Y/Y. Of the five that did record an improvement, Asia to North America West Coast (NAWC) recorded the most substantial improvement.

Figure 4 shows the development in schedule reliability for this trade lane, not only on a monthly level for 2024 but also the average full-year reliability in 2019-2023.

Figure 4

Additionally, Figure 4 also shows the performance for Asia to North America East Coast (NAEC), as commercially, these two trade lanes are closely tied to each other.

While the Asia-NAWC trade lane has improved substantially and is even approaching – but not quite reaching – the pre-pandemic average performance, the Asia-NAEC trade lane shows no such similar improvement.

The performance gap between the two trade lanes, which began to open up in 2023, has only been worsening.

This means that North American importers who use an East Coast routing are increasingly struggling with much larger disruptions in the supply chain than if they had routed cargo via the West Coast.

Of the trade lanes that have performed poorly in May 2024, Asia-Middle East has seen one of the largest Y/Y declines.

Compared to the 2019 full-year average, the trade lane has seen the largest decline in schedule reliability, dropping below the pandemic lowest.

This highlights that the Red Sea crisis is indeed having a strong impact on schedule reliability in the region.

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