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Shippers will be armed with port congestion data in negotiations

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Ocean Insights has released data showing the contrasting performances of container ports—even neighbours—in recent months.

The company looked at port congestion and delays, defining a delay as the median number of days between the scheduled call date and actual arrive, and found divergent performances, even between neighbouring ports on similar trades.

From December 2020 to February 2021, delays for services calling at Long Beach out of Shanghai fell from a median 4.2 days to one day. Over the same period, median delays to services calling at neighbouring Los Angeles from Shanghai tripled to 9.3 days. Delays on the same services in February 2020 were 0.5 days for LA and 1.5 days at Long Beach.

Delays on services out of Shanghai to Antwerp rose from 2 days to 9.1 days between February 2020 and February 2021, and from 2.1 to 5.2 days for services from Shanghai to Rotterdam over the same period.

“Differences in delays in the recipient port pairs of both Europe’s Rotterdam and Antwerp, and the US’s Los Angeles and Long Beach suggest that while the congestion caused by the pandemic should offer similar delays to neighbouring ports, something else appears to be going on,” said Ocean Insights.

The company speculated that inland intermodal links, port efficiency and labour availability may all have been factors.

Ocean Insight said its data would allow shippers to demonstrate low reliability in shipping services as lines and shippers engage in contract negotiations, making reliability a more important factor in discussions often dominated by costs.

Ocean insights’ Chief Operations Officer Josh Brazil said, “Entering such negotiations with powerful data behind you gives you a real understanding of what the problem is and where that problem manifests itself meaning, shippers can point to evidential data that will back their calls for greater transparency and improved service levels.”

TAGS: Containers