The latest result represents an 8.5 percentage point gain over February and is the second-best average (after October 2014) since the start of the new data series in May 2014.
The improvement seen in March was the consequence of much improved services in the Asia-Europe trade and gradually easing congestion on the U.S. West Coast following the resolution of the port labour dispute. However, services on the trans-Atlantic took a backwards step in the month.
The most reliable carrier in March was Maersk Line with an average on-time performance of 81 percent, followed by K Line (73 percent), Cosco and MSC (both 70 percent). At the bottom of the rankings were Zim (39 percent) and PIL (38 percent).
"It is good news for shippers that service reliability is on the rise, although it comes from a low base and the industry average still has plenty more scope to improve. We expect the upwards trend to continue as USWC operations return to normal, but the sharp drop in Asia-Europe freight rates is a risk as carriers could look to make cost savings detrimental to reliability," said Simon Heaney, senior manager of supply chain research at Drewry.
Building on Drewry's long established schedule reliability benchmarking that started back in 2005, the new Carrier Performance Insight provides the ability to benchmark the reliability performance of container carriers on a port-to-port, trade lane, service and industry-wide basis. This information is available via a user-friendly website powered by data from global shipment management software solutions provider CargoSmart.
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