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The dire schedule reliability among container lines, whereby 70% of ships arrive late, has led to billions of dollars being squandered during the pandemic, a new study from Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence shows.
The record delays caused by vessels not arriving on time leads to having to hold inventory longer than usual. Holding inventory for a longer period is equivalent to a financial loss, and a model created by Sea-Intelligence based on the actual delays of cargo at sea shows a loss of some US$5 billion to $10billion.
To carry out the study, Sea-Intelligence took the underlying detailed reliability measurements at a trade lane level and combined this with the detailed regional volume flows from Container Trade Statistics (CTS). The analysis focused only on deepsea cargo and not intra-regional cargo. The next step was to use the underlying data to calculate the number of TEU-days lost due to late arrivals. While the pre-pandemic baseline saw an average of 8 million TEU-days lost each month, this spiked dramatically during the COVID era, hitting a peak in January this year of 70 million TEU-days. The most recent statistics available – for March – show there was still a remarkable 57 million TEU-days lost.
Read more in an article from Splash.