Overall, 2023 had seen a marked improvement in container line schedule reliability following the disruption caused to the supply chain during the Covid pandemic.
However, the latest Global Liner Report from analysts Sea-Intelligence showed a 5 percentage points drop in schedule reliability from over 60 across some 34 different trades. Schedule reliability dropped to 56.8% in December 2023, the second lowest level seen in the year and just 0.4% higher than December 2022.
The drop in schedule reliability coincided with the onset of attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on ships passing through the southern Red Sea. As a result container lines started to reroute vessels away from the Red Sea and the Suez Canal on Asia – Europe voyages adding 10 days to two weeks to transit times to European and Med ports from Asia, and vice-versa, disrupting fixed day schedules.
Sea-Intelligence noted that due diversions via the Cape late arrivals were 0.3 days month-on-month at 5.35 days.
According to Lynerlytica one in three containerships that normally transits the Red Sea/Suez Canal continues to sail through the region despite the heightened security risk.
Among top container lines CMA CGM has retained the Red Sea/Suez routing for its Asia – Europe/Med services receiving French naval escorts. According to Lynerlytica only its US East Coast - Asia and Oceania services are currently re-routed via the Cape.
CMA CGM was the second most reliable carrier in December 2023 according to Sea-Intelligence and only one of two lines above the 60% schedule reliability mark. The most reliable line was Evergreen with 63.6%.
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