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
The Retailer’s Atlas for Omnichannel Returns
Fueled by e-commerce, the new state of retail is truly an omnichannel one, and companies will flourish or flounder based on how well their supply chain can meet customer expectations.
Download Today!
From the November 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships into true, collaborative partnerships—and greatly strengthened its logistics and supply chain operations in the process.
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: 2017 Awards Dinner
Trucking Regulations: Washington U-Turns; States put hammer down
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Logistics Showcase: Rising to the same-day delivery challenge
Today’s delivery puzzles are very different than traditional DC to store or warehouse to DC puzzles. It’s not just the shorter time frame for delivery; the basic requirements are significantly different and more complex as well. In this session you'll learn how to address same day delivery challenges while also driving down costs and increasing customer satisfaction.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...