Global vessel schedule reliability improved for the third consecutive month in July to 40.5 percent, although the gain was a marginal half a percentage point.
Reliability in the eastbound trans-Pacific was mixed, with on-time performance from Asia to the West Coast rising 2.3 percentage points last month to 27.1 percent, while the East Coast slipped 2.7 percentage points to 15.9 percent, according to the Global Liner Performance report released Thursday by Sea-Intelligence Maritime Analysis.
Although global schedule reliability improved only marginally in July month over month, it is nevertheless up 5 percentage points from July 2021. “Schedule reliability is now trending upwards,” Sea-Intelligence said.
Vessel on-time performance to the West Coast has improved for seven consecutive months this year on a sequential basis, from a dismal 9.3 percent in January. But the July on-time reliability of 27.1 percent “is still the second-lowest recorded figure for this month on the trade lane,” Sea-Intelligence said.
Year over year, schedule reliability to the West Coast improved 11.5 percentage points from July 2021. That was the second consecutive month of year-over-year improvement. Cargo volume growth at West Coast ports has slowed this year as retailers shifted some of their Asian imports to the East Coast and Gulf Coast in order to mitigate risk with the expiration of the coastwide labor contract between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and waterfront employers on July 1.
With the West Coast share of US imports from Asia in the first half of the year down to 58.7 percent from 61.5 percent in the same period last year, the major West Coast gateways have experienced less congestion than they did in 2021, which was a record year for Asian imports, according to PIERS.
Conversely, East Coast ports increased their market share of US imports from Asia in the first half of 2022 to 34.3 percent, from 32.8 percent in the same period last year. The Gulf Coast market share increased to 6.7 percent from 5.3 percent. Ports in those regions have contended with vessel backlogs and terminal congestion for much of the year.
As a result, schedule reliability at East and Gulf coast ports has declined for three consecutive months. The on-time performance of 15.9 percent in July for the East Coast was the lowest figure recorded for that month for the region and was down from 20.8 percent in July 2021, Sea-Intelligence said.