‘Slidings’ Replacing Blank Voyages as Ocean Carriers Stretch Transit Times

Ocean carriers are looking to extend transit times in a bid to improve schedule reliability and cut costs. They are starting to add more buffer time into schedules to mitigate the impact of chronic global port congestion. The “schedule sliding” were being deemed necessary due to the severe congestion from the challenging operational conditions in Asia. 

Adding the extra time to schedules will allow carriers to cope with the delays, minimizing port cancellations and disruptions, hence providing a more reliable service. 

The Loadstar understands that some alliance carrier members have called for an urgent review of their networks in order to alleviate the costly last-minute disruptions from having to skip ports. 

One carrier source told The Loadstar this week that its live schedules were, in some cases, “almost unrecognizable” from the official network. 

“Now that it looks like the demand spike will continue until at least the Chinese New Year – and our visibility suggests maybe as far out as Easter – I think we will have to look more closely at what we can do to improve reliability and add more certainty to the network,” he added. 

Container schedule reliability slumped to a record low of 50.1% in November, according to a SeaIntelligence analysis. The widespread port congestion, and carriers not letting off capacity-wise until at least the CNY, schedule reliability was unlikely to improve until the second quarter of next year 

SeaIntelligence’s Lar Jensen commented that due to the long wait times being experienced at ports, “it would not be reasonable to purely blame carriers for this dramatic drop in performance”. 

IMPORTANT: Severe container equipment shortages and capacity constraints remain in effect and will continue at least until the lunar new year and perhaps beyond. As such, we wish to formally advise all Delmar customers to notify their suppliers and associates that booking arrangements should be made at least 4 weeks in advance of the targeted vessel departure date. 

Delmar will continue to monitor the market and hold discussions with our core suppliers in an effort to offer our customers the most competitive rate and service options available. 

Additional information may be obtained by contacting your local Delmar Representative.

Source: Loadstar 

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