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A year ago, fear was a big driver of the supply chain crunch: fear that goods wouldn’t arrive on time, stoked by headlines warning that shipping delays could “cancel Christmas.” It became a vicious cycle. The threat of delays caused importers to max out orders and bring them forward, causing more delays.
Importers ordered too much in late 2021, and to avoid another holiday scramble, they shipped in seasonal goods early in 2022. This front-loading alleviated pressure on the supply chain in the second half of the year.
Container shipping schedules have become more reliable in light of lower volumes, so importers have less to fear from ocean shipping delays. But despite progress, the supply chain is still not back to where it was pre-COVID.
Sea-Intelligence’s “Global Liner Performance” report found that 56.6% of services arrived on time in November – the highest reliability percentage since August 2020. It’s a big improvement from January last year, when reliability cratered at just 30.4%. Yet the on-time rate is still just above a coin toss and remains well below the 2018-2019 average of 74%.
Read more in an article from FreightWaves.