The dark side of “Slow Steaming”

Ocean carrier schedule integrity is in jeopardy now that “slow steaming” is in vogue, and shippers have every reason to be concerned

By ·

Ocean carrier schedule integrity is in jeopardy now that “slow steaming” is in vogue, and shippers have every reason to be concerned.

That’s the conclusion of a recent report issued by London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants. In their latest issue of “Container Shipper Insight,” they state that more vessels arrived at their destinations behind schedule in the fourth quarter – down 7 percent from the reliability rate in the first three quarters of 2009.

Even more alarming, though, is the fact that each of the major east-west trade-lanes suffered a drop in on-time performance during this period.

Carriers have been lauded, and rightfully so, for saving fuel and anticipating regulatory reforms on emissions, but this should not mean a disruption of the supply chain.

Skeptics in the shipping community suggest that –
deliberate or not – this development will give vessel operators even more leverage in upcoming contract negotiations. With demand surging and capacity restrained, does this represent one more weapon in the carrier arsenal?


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Container · Shipping · Supply Chain · Trade · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
How Lean is your Lean Quality Program?
Avoid quality program bureaucracy that can sap logistics productivity and increase costs
Download Today!
From the September 2016 Issue
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and organizational structure—finds many companies waiting to commit to a strategic path. However, waiting too long will only result in a competitive disadvantage that will be difficult to overcome in today’s fast-paced, global economy.
Time for Asia’s ports to rebuild
Is the freight recession upon us…again?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Supply Chain Best Practices: Visibility to In-Transit Inventory
During this webcast you'll learn on how various organizations have gained instant access to in-transit parcels and given access to this information to stakeholders.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
25th Annual Masters of Logistics
Indecision revolving around three complex supply chain elements—transportation, technology and...
2016 Quest for Quality: Winners Take the Spotlight
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers and U.S. ports have crossed the service-excellence...

Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....