Weaker performance in the Asia trades to and from Europe and the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent contributed to a quarter-on-quarter decline of 1.4% to 69.5%, reports the latest Carrier Performance Insight.
This marks the third quarter in succession in which ship and container reliability have declined, with on-time performance at its lowest since 2011 (61.1%). Compared to the same quarter in 2012, the 2013 result was down by 1.5%.
Data derived from e-commerce platform provider CargoSmart reveals that while shipments from the origin port were no worse than in the second quarter, the delays in cargo availability at destination ports were caused by lengthier than scheduled transit times at sea.
“Heading into the slower winter season carriers have already announced a raft of missed or cancelled voyages along with other service adjustments during the fourth quarter, which does not bode well for improvement in the short term,” said Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry.
Heaney went on to say that after the huge strides made in recent years, the downward trend in reliability was worrying and that while carriers are rightfully looking to cut costs they had to maintain focus on service.
Despite recording a lower on-time performance compared with the previous quarter, Maersk Line regained top spot as the most reliable carrier as its rivals all saw their scores drop further. The company recorded an on-time performance across all trades covered of 79.3% in the third quarter, down 2.7% compared to the second quarter.