Expect delays in global supply chain, report says

Expect delays in global supply chain, report says

A new report states that delays in the supply chain━specifically outbound China━are impending due to the issues in intermodal connectivity. The main cause is the Chinese government’s quarantine measure around the time of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The report by Oceans Insights points out that the average delay for containers increased from one day in January 2020, to more than five days in January 2021, and hence it may take several more months for supply chains to return to some semblance of normality.

The internal travel restriction imposed by the Chinese authorities requires domestic travellers to quarantine for 14 days after travelling and calls for citizens to stay put and “celebrate in place”, keeping factories open to offset the seasonal decline in factory output during the Chinese New Year. Most truckers have opted to go home for New Year, making them subject to mandatory quarantines and unable to drive. In some regions, up to 95% of truckers will be unavailable, with the worst-hit regions in the south.

Port rollovers. At ports, overall rollover percentages continued to climb as well, reaching 39%, a 2% increase on December numbers and a 9% on year-over-year (y-o-y).

The report by Ocean Insights calculates the rollover ratio for carriers as the percentage of cargo carried by each line globally that left a transshipment port on a different vessel than originally scheduled.

While overall rollover rates have increased, the major Asian ports in Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas saw no increase in rollovers, from December 2020 to January 2021, while Shanghai, Hong Kong increased by just 1% and Busan decreased 1%.

Port Klang in Malaysia remains an outlier with an 11% increase in rollover cargo from 55-66% month-on-month. In Europe, Antwerp and Rotterdam saw increases of 4 and 5% respectively within the Hamburg-Le Havre range.

Schedule reliability. In terms of the number of changes to delivery dates (ETA), the Asia to US West Coast trade lanes showed the largest increase from an average of 1.67 ETA changes per shipment in January 2020 to 3.93 by January this year.

While Asia to Europe cargo ETA changes per shipment averaged 1.41 in January 2020, they increased to 3.13 a year later.

By these metrics, the average delay for containers increased from about one day in January 2020, to more than five days in January 2021 (Carriers’ Schedule Reliability is a measurement of delay from port to port.)


Rollovers by carrier. Vessel operators have so far had a mixed month with Maersk seeing a 5% increase in rollovers, reaching 38% while its alliance partner, MSC, has been static at 29% since November of last year.

CMA CGM, by way of contrast, has steadily increased its rollovers from 44% in October 2020 to 52% in January this year. While the biggest decrease month-on-month goes to CMA CGM’s subsidiary ANL whose rollover figures improved from 56% in December to 49% in January.


Ocean Insights consolidates and evaluates container shipping data.

Written from a company news release.

Image: The Chinese New Year has a cascading effect on carriers' schedule reliability and rollovers.

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