Shipping lines streamline operations: report

Australia is benefiting from a global push to streamline container shipping operations, says report

Shipping lines streamline operations: report
Shipping lines streamline operations: report

By Sean Muir |
August 2, 2012

New research shows Australia is benefiting from a global push to streamline container shipping line operations, with 64 percent of carriers now making timely deliveries.

The July 2012 Global Liner Performance Report, a joint effort between ecommerce network provider INTTRA and container shipping analyst SeaIntel, examines the performance of the top 20 global container lines in schedule reliability.

The report shows timely delivery – defined as being within one day of the stated delivery date – improved, globally, 3 percent to 64 percent from May to June 2012.

According to the report, major Australian importers and exporters are doing even better, with timeliness well above the global average.

The report shows 76 percent of exports from Australia to China were timely and 73 percent of exports from Australia to the US were timely.

The data also shows 76 percent of imports from China to Australia were timely, with 67 percent of imports from the US to Australia timely.

"This tells us that – at a global aggregated level – improvements were made in the process chain handling the containers unrelated to the vessel schedules," the report says.

"We note that a significant majority of country-country trades exhibit improvement in the container delivery reliability as 2012 progresses.

"We believe this is because an increasing number of carriers are streamlining their processes to save costs by being more punctual. By getting more containers delivered on time, the carrier can reduce costs associated with handling exceptions."

Among the most reliable global carriers were Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd.

Maersk Line took the number one position for June, at 92 percent, with Hamburg Süd taking the number two position at 88 percent.

Maersk Line chief trade and marketing officer Vincent Clerc says many carriers have adjusted their networks after the Chinese New Year as they phased in new cooperation, such as the G6 or the cooperation between MSC and CMA.

"It has been a tough time for customers, but overall the product offering on Asia-Europe will be greatly enhanced as a result," Clerc says.

"For Maersk Line, though, the situation is a bit different.

"The daily Maersk product is designed to be stable. We are mapping network changes in advance, so no matter how much we slow down the vessels or alter port calls or vessel rotations, the customer doesn’t feel it."

The report shows strong improvement from Yangming, from 82 percent in May to 87 percent in June, placing them for the first time in third position out of the top-20 most reliable carriers.

But the report says the standout development has been the performance of MSC, which during the first half of 2012 improved global on-time performance from 60 percent to 73 percent.

In Asia to Mediterranean trade, MSC improved from 19 percent in the beginning of the year to 62 percent in June.

"On this trade it places MSC’s performance in line with the median in the trade; hence if this is sustainable we might this year be witnessing MSC’s transformation from a carrier known for its low schedule reliability to a stable performer in line with the other main carriers," the report says.

The data also shows 69 percent of exports from Australia to New Zealand were timely, while 65 percent of exports from New Zealand to Australia were timely.

Visit for more information on the INTTRA and SeaIntel Global Liner Performance Report, July 2012.

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