It’s an unpleasant but unavoidable reality for shippers coming out of the COVID era. While freight rates and port congestion have normalized, schedule reliability is still far below where it was pre-COVID. The main reason is that, in a largely futile effort to put a floor under a falling market, carriers have been aggressively managing capacity through blank sailings, slow steaming, and unscheduled port calls. While that has kept vessel load factors higher and perhaps avoided an unmitigated rate war, it has meant greater unpredictability for shippers’ supply chains, longer transit times, and, in some cases, lost revenue and higher costs. The big question is, how long will it last? In this solo session, Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, the world’s foremost authority on schedule reliability, will offer his views of the future of service reliability, while answering these questions and more:
• Is this the new, post-COVID normal that shippers will have to suffer through for the foreseeable future?
• Will certain carriers choose to take a different tack and deliver schedule reliability even if it means committing to more deployed capacity?