The dark side of “Slow Steaming”
January 09, 2011 - LM Editorial
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?
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