CargoSmart's Innovating

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CargoSmart’s monthly, complimentary Innovating newsletter delivers refreshing insights for you to make intelligent decisions for your supply chain.

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September 2017 Issue Highlights

In the June issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating, we reviewed the initial impact the Qatar-Gulf crisis had on vessel performance in the region. We found that as carriers made changes to the routings and types of ships visiting the Middle East ports, the performance fluctuated at each of the terminals.  As of early September, the trade embargoes are still in effect. In this month’s issue, we continued to study the performance of ports and terminals in the Middle East, overall ocean carrier reliability for August, and the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Port of Houston.

Highlights include:

  • Qatar-Gulf Crisis Continues – Middle East Ports: We continued to study the performance of three countries’ ports involved in the crisis–Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. We also reviewed the performance at the terminal level at each port. We analyzed 22 ocean carriers’ data from March 1 to August 31, 2017. Overall, we found that that the number of vessel arrivals dropped in June and then started to increase in July and August, the number of mega vessels visiting Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates increased in August, and that Hamad Port in Qatar had the longest vessel arrival and departure delays among the terminals in July and August.
  • Carrier Reliability Report: CargoSmart analyzes schedule reliability each month to provide insights about ocean carriers’ performance. This month, we reviewed the schedule reliability of 24 ocean carriers across 12 trade lanes in August. Overall, on-time schedule reliability was 68.8% in August, slightly lower than the schedule reliability in July.
  • World Incidents – Hurricane Harvey: We reviewed the impact Hurricane Harvey had at the Port of Houston in August. Closed to container vessels for a week, we identified 18 vessels that skipped the port.

August 2017 Issue Highlights

One year after the Panama Canal expanded its locks, the Bayonne Bridge at the Port of New York and New Jersey completed its infrastructure upgrade to raise the bridge to accommodate larger vessels in June 2017. Before the increased elevation, only vessels with a slightly larger capacity than 10,000 TEUs could pass under the bridge. Now, vessels with a capacity of over 18,000s TEU capacity can visit the port. In this month’s issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating, we reviewed the size and performance of vessels visiting the US East Coast and Gulf ports from the Panama and Suez canals, overall ocean carrier reliability for July, and the recent port congestion in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Highlights include:

  • Panama and Suez Canals – Vessel Sizes and Delays: This month, we investigated to see whether more mega vessels have been passing through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal to the US East Coast and Gulf ports and to compare the trends of mega vessels passing through the canals. As of the end of July, we did not find major changes in vessel size distribution over the last three months.
  • Carrier Reliability Report: CargoSmart analyzes schedule reliability each month to provide insights about ocean carriers’ performance. This month, we reviewed the schedule reliability of 24 ocean carriers across 12 trade lanes in July. Overall, on-time schedule reliability was 69.9% in July, similar to the overall schedule reliability of 70.1% in June.
  • World Incidents – Chittagong: We reviewed the port congestion occurring at the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh. As the port repairs damaged gantry cranes, vessel waiting times spiked in June and started to decrease in July.

July 2017 Issue Highlights

On June 27, 2017, A.P. Moller-Maersk Group announced that the Petya cyber attack impacted its computer systems at several of its business units around the world. Maersk’s container shipping, logistics, and terminal operations were greatly affected. In this month’s issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating we reviewed the impact of the cyber attack at six of Maersk’s APM Terminals, overall ocean carrier reliability for June, and the impact of the intermittent dockworker strikes in Spain.

Highlights include:

  • Petya Cyber Attack – Impact at APM Terminals: This month, we reviewed vessel arrival trends, waiting times, arrival delays, and berthing times before and after the cyber attack at six of Maersk’s APM Terminals. We reviewed data from June 1 through July 13 for the terminals at the ports of Pipavav, Tangier, Los Angeles, New York-New Jersey, Rotterdam, and Zeebrugge. We found that the impact varied by terminal. Our results revealed that the cyber attack affected operations in different ways at the terminals. APMT Tangier and APMT Maasvlakte 2 experienced fewer vessel arrivals as vessels were diverted to other terminals. At the same time, APMT Tangier, APMT Pier 400 Los Angeles, and APMT Pipavav had increased arrival delays in the days following the cyber attack.
  • Carrier Reliability Report: CargoSmart analyzes schedule reliability each month to provide insights about ocean carriers’ performance. This month, we reviewed the schedule reliability of 24 ocean carriers across 12 trade lanes in June. Overall, on-time schedule reliability improved 6.8%, increasing from 63.3% in May to 70.1% in June.
  • World Incidents – Spain Strikes: We reviewed the impact of the intermittent strikes at the ports in Spain in May and June. Overall, we found a gradual decline in operation efficiencies in mid and late June with longer waiting times and fewer vessel visits.

June 2017 Issue Highlights

On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic, trade, and transportation ties with Qatar. Air, sea, and land border connections were cut off, blocking all vessels coming from and going to Qatar from the four countries. When the trade embargoes went into effect, ocean carriers including COSCO, Evergreen, and OOCL suspended their shipping services to Qatar, while Maersk and MSC re-routed shipments. This month, we provide analysis of the impact at ports in five countries in the region in terms of vessel arrivals, vessel sizes, and delays.

Highlights include:

  • Qatar-Gulf Crisis – Impact on Ports: To review the impact of the trade embargoes, we analyzed the performance of the ports at five Middle East countries from March 1 to June 20. We found varying shifts in the number of vessel arrivals, sizes, and delays each week in the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar in June as the embargoes went into effect. Findings included a spike in vessel arrival and departure delays in Kuwait the week of June 5, as well as an increase in smaller vessels visiting Oman in June.
  • Schedule Reliability – Alternative Route Comparison : Occasionally, a port may have delays and you may look for alternative port options. Other times, you may consider nearby ports that have stronger performance to improve the chances of having your cargo delivered on time. We reviewed alternative port options for three different trade lanes to compare their differences in on-time reliability. Among our findings, we found that on the trans-Pacific trade lane, direct routes from Hong Kong to Los Angeles have had consistently higher reliability than the routes from Hong Kong to Oakland over the last six months.
  • Carrier Reliability Report: Starting this month, we are including a monthly report about ocean carrier schedule reliability. The scope includes 24 carriers covering 700 services and 12 trade lanes. We feature an overall reliability month-to-month and analysis of the findings. In May, we found that overall, carrier reliability improved 4.7% from April.
  • World Incidents – Gothenburg Port Lockout: We reviewed the impact of the partial port lockout that began on May 19 in Gothenburg, Sweden. In terms of berth times, we have not seen an impact through the end of May.

May 2017 Issue Highlights

On April 1, the three mega alliances, 2M, OCEAN, and THE, started their new services. This month, we analyzed the impact that these service changes are having on US port performance. We also took a close look at the trends in on-time reliability, transit time reliability, and waiting times over the past six months.

Highlights include:

  • Alliance Impact on US Ports: We reviewed the impact of the alliance service changes at three US East Coast and three US West Coast ports from February 1, 2017 to May 10, 2017. Overall, vessel arrivals increased on the East Coast but not on the West Coast. We also examined trends in increasing vessel size, arrival delays, and departure delays.
  • Schedule Reliability After April: We analyzed the schedule reliability of over 1,400 routes from November 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017, covering over 460,000 schedules from 24 ocean carriers. We studied on-time reliability, transit time reliability, and average waiting time, concluding that reliability has decreased while waiting times have increased since April 1.
  • World Incidents – Shanghai Port Congestion: We summarized vessel and port incidents around the world and reviewed the impact of dense fog and high container volumes at the Port of Shanghai.

April 2017 Issue Highlights

The two new mega alliances, OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance, and 2M all began new alliance services on April 1, 2017. This month we reviewed the impact of the alliance changes at top ports in Asia, Europe, and North America in terms of services, visiting vessels, and average vessel sizes before and after April 1. We also reviewed the transition progress of the more than 1,000 vessels on their new services.

Highlights include:

  • Mega Alliances – Port Impact: We analyzed the impact of the alliance changes at 10 top ports in Asia, Europe, and North America to see how the number of mega alliance services, the number of visiting vessels, and the average vessel size are changing. We found that overall, the Asia and North America ports will have fewer alliance services, fewer visiting vessels, and larger vessels on average than before. The Europe ports that we reviewed will have a slight increase in the number of visiting vessels, while the vessel capacity will also increase.
  • Mega Alliances – Transition Progress: As the alliances deploy over 1,000 vessels to the new services, we have been monitoring the progress. We reviewed the progress of five trade lanes for the new 2M, OCEAN, and THE alliance services. As of April 24, the trans-Atlantic trade is furthest along with 83% deployment, while the Asia-Middle East trade has deployed 61% of its expected vessels.
  • Proforma Schedules: If you are curious about what they are, you are not alone. We have been referring to the alliances’ proforma schedules when analyzing upcoming schedule changes. In this issue, we share what they are and how they are useful for shippers, NVOCCs, and carriers.
  • World Incidents – Brazil Strikes: We reviewed the impact of the countrywide port strikes on March 15 in Brazil. The Port of Santos experienced slightly longer average berth times for vessels that arrived on the day of the strike.

March 2017 Issue Highlights

The two new mega ocean carrier alliances, OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance, will begin operating on April 1, 2017. In addition, 2M will begin new services in April. Last month, we reviewed the impact on the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade lanes. This month, we continued our study of the new alliance services and reviewed the impact of the alliance changes on the Asia-Europe trade lane. We also reviewed schedule reliability by alliance and the impact of a winter storm on the US East Coast in February.

Highlights include:

  • New Carrier Alliances – Asia-Europe Impact Analysis: We compared the port pairs, ports, transit times, and services of the existing alliances with the new mega alliance services that go into effect on April 1. For the Asia-Europe trade, we found that the alliances are dropping 150 port pairs. At the same time, 60% of the direct routes on the trade will be faster than the existing alliances’ services and the alliances are reducing the number of services on five top Asia-Europe routes.
  • Schedule Reliability – Alliance Carriers: We reviewed schedule reliability on the Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic, and trans-Pacific trade lanes from September 2016 through February 2017. We analyzed the market average as well as by the ocean carrier alliances. Overall, the market average schedule reliability declined from September to February in the three trades. Performance varied when we compared the carriers’ performance grouped by existing and future alliances.
  • World Incidents – NY-NJ Storm: We reviewed the impact of a winter storm on the US East Coast. The Port of New York-New Jersey closed its terminals on February 9 due to the snowstorm. We found that vessels that arrived on February 8 experienced prolonged berth times.

February 2017 Issue Highlights

When the two new mega alliances, OCEAN and THE, begin operating in April, there will be a new wave of service consolidation and network adjustments. This month’s Innovating provides an analysis of the impact the new alliances will have on services, routes, ports, canal usage, and transit times. With the 2017 TPM Conference starting on February 26, we also focused our attention this month on schedule reliability for the trans-Pacific trade routes.

Highlights include:

  • New Carrier Alliances – Impact Analysis: Two new ocean carrier alliances, OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance, will begin operating in April and have started to reveal their new service networks. We took a close look at the new alliance changes and how changes to services, routes, and ports may impact shippers. Each of the new alliances have unique offerings and overlapping services, but a large portion of routes, 71%, will be operated by only one alliance.
  • Schedule Reliability – Trans-Pacific Trade: We analyzed schedule reliability from January 2016 to January 2017 for the routes on the best performing trans-Pacific discharging ports, Toyko and Long Beach. Overall, schedule reliability in January 2017 for the trans-Pacific trade lane dropped to its lowest point for the past year.
  • World Incidents – Virginia: We summarized vessel and port incidents around the world and reviewed the impact of Winter Storm Helena on the Port of Virginia on January 6.

January 2017 Issue Highlights

When the operations of two new mega alliances begin in April, the OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance, service consolidation and network adjustments may change the flow of cargo through transshipment hubs. This month’s Innovating provides an analysis of the performance of three expanding and competitive Southeast Asia transshipment hubs, schedule reliability in Shenzhen, and the impact of a port closure due to smog in Tianjin.

Highlights include:

  • Port Performance – Southeast Asia: Many major Southeast Asia ports are undergoing expansion projects to increase competitiveness. In this month’s issue, CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) analyzed three Southeast Asia transshipment hubs—Port Klang, the Port of Singapore, and the Port of Tanjung Pelepas. Over the past six months, Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas had shorter vessel arrival and departure delays, while Tanjung Pelepas had the longest average berth times.
  • Schedule Reliability – Shenzhen Emission Controls: In January 2017, new rules for tighter emission controls for ships went into effect in China. The Port of Shenzhen began implementing the rules in October 2016. This month, we reviewed the schedule reliability at the port over the last six months to see if the rules may have had an impact on performance. Although schedule reliability for vessels discharging in Shenzhen dropped in October, we expect that other factors contributed to the change in performance as overall schedule reliability also decreased in October.
  • World Incidents – Tianjin Smog: We reviewed the impact of dense smog in northern China. The Port of Tianjin closed due to the air pollution on December 19. Berth times were prolonged for vessels that arrived on December 17 and 18, and no vessels arrived at the port on December 19 and 20.

December 2016 Issue Highlights

The December issue of Innovating marks its 50th issue. We are pleased to offer more than four years and counting of insights about cargo delays around the globe to help you improve your shipment planning. This month’s issue features a port performance comparison of Rotterdam and Antwerp and a Q&A with the GVVMC’s product design team to learn more about how it helps carriers’ marine operations groups.

Highlights include:

  • Port Performance – Rotterdam and Antwerp: While the Port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port by container throughput, the nearby Port of Antwerp has been growing faster. To stimulate more container traffic, Rotterdam announced on December 2 an additional discount on port tariffs for transshipment containers. This month we studied the performance of the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp to see if there are performance factors that may differentiate the ports in addition to the costs. Similar to our findings in 2015, Antwerp has a slight edge over Rotterdam in terms of shorter vessel arrival and departure delays.
  • GVVMC Q&A – Marine Operations: The Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center’s (GVVMC) monitoring and analytics tools provide insights for Innovating as well as solutions for ocean carriers. We spoke with Eric Wong, who leads the product design of the GVVMC. Eric recently met with an ocean carrier’s marine operations department on how to leverage the GVVMC’s solutions to improve operations and planning. Eric shared information from his meetings in a Q&A with Innovating.
  • World Incidents – Gothenburg: We reviewed the impact of labor actions at the APM Terminals at the Port of Gothenburg. Although a four-day strike took place and an overtime work ban went into effect on November 8, we did not find a significant impact on vessel berth times in November.

November 2016 Issue Highlights

More than three months have passed since the new Safety of Life at Sea Verified Gross Mass (SOLAS VGM) requirements went into effect on July 1. Under the new rules, if ocean carriers do not have the VGM by the cutoff time, they may hold cargo, which could cause delays at the port. We took the opportunity to review port performance at six ports before and after the new requirements went into effect. We also reviewed schedule reliability of K Line, MOL, and NYK before their container divisions merge in 2017.

Highlights include:

  • Port Performance – Before and After SOLAS VGM: This month, we reviewed performance at six ports before and after the new container weight requirements went into effect. We found that vessel arrivals decreased at the ports and that the Port of Felixstowe experienced the longest average vessel departure delays among the ports after the regulation went into effect. However, the new requirements do not appear to have had an impact on vessel schedules.
  • Schedule Reliability – K Line, MOL, and NYK: On October 31, three Japanese ocean carriers, K Line, MOL, and NYK, announced that they will spin off their container divisions and merge them on July 1, 2017. Before they merge, we were interested to compare the three carriers’ schedule reliability. We reviewed their reliability individually, as a group, and with the top performing carriers and market average on three trade lanes. Over a six-month period, we found that performance peaked in August. As a group, the carriers performed close or better than the market average on three routes that we analyzed.
  • World Incidents – Busan: We reviewed the impact of a trucker strike and an influx of Hanjin vessels discharging cargo at Busan Port in October. We did not see much variation in average berth times throughout the month due to the incidents.

October 2016 Issue Highlights

Nearly four months after the opening of the expanded locks at the Panama Canal, we reviewed and compared the container vessels transiting through the Panama and Suez canals as well as vessel arrival delays on routes from Asia through the canals to US East Coast ports. We also took a closer look at the impact the recent series of tropical storms and typhoons had on port performance in Taiwan and Japan.

Highlights include:

  • Panama and Suez Canals – Vessel Size and Arrival Delays: The Panama Canal began operating its newly expanded locks in June 2016. This month, we reviewed and compared the vessel sizes and arrival delays of vessels passing through the Panama and Suez canals from July to September 2016. We found that larger vessels started transiting through the Panama Canal and the overall number of vessels transiting through it decreased after the opening of the new locks. We found minimal vessel arrival delays on the routes we studied through the Panama and Suez Canals.
  • Taiwan and Japan Ports – Weather Impact: This summer, numerous typhoons and tropical storms struck Taiwan and Japan. We reviewed the impact of the stormy weather at the affected ports in terms of the number of vessel arrivals, average vessel arrival delays, average vessel berth times, and average vessel departure delays. We analyzed the impact of the weather at the ports of Kaohsiung, Keelung, Tokyo, and Yokohama from July 1 through September 30, 2016. We found that the storms did have an impact on average vessel arrival and departure delays, and that they had little or no impact on the number of vessel arrivals and average vessel berth times at the four ports.
  • World Incidents – Santos: We looked at the impact of the industrial actions at the Port of Santos in Brazil in September. We found prolonged berth times during the last two weeks of the month.

September 2016 Issue Highlights

On August 31, Hanjin filed for receivership. Nearly three weeks after the filing, most of Hanjin’s container vessel fleet around the globe has not yet arrived and discharged at their destination ports. In addition to analyzing schedule reliability around Hanjin’s trade lanes and the current status of Hanjin’s vessels in this month’s issue, we analyzed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at the terminal level as well as the port level to see how the newly automated terminals perform compared to the other terminals at the ports.

Highlights include:

  • Terminal Performance – Los Angeles and Long Beach: We are pleased to share Innovating’s first performance analysis at the terminal level as well as at the port level. Two newly automated terminals, TraPac in Los Angeles and Pier E at the Long Beach Container Terminal, have gone live recently. We reviewed their performance along with a dozen other terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Findings revealed that both automated terminals had shorter than average vessel arrival delays at their respective ports.
  • Schedule Reliability – Hanjin’s Trade Lanes: Following Hanjin’s bankruptcy, we reviewed schedule reliability along three of its major trade lanes, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe, and trans-Atlantic. Looking back at the past three months and benchmarking alternate carriers on these trade lanes, we reviewed the schedule reliability of the top performing carriers, Hanjin, and the market average for popular routes on the three trade lanes. Overall, the trans-Pacific trade had the strongest reliability from July through August.
  • World Incidents – Hanjin: We reviewed the number of Hanjin owned and chartered vessels by TEU capacity as well as the current status of the vessels’ schedules as of September 15.

August 2016 Issue Highlights

With our eyes on the Summer Olympics in Brazil in August, we compared four top ports in Brazil to determine which ones had the best performance leading up to the Olympics. We also feature an update on our sailing schedule changes index and revisited vessel arrivals and berth times at the Port of Le Havre amid the countrywide strikes.

Highlights include:

  • Brazil Port Performance Before the Olympics: Brazil hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics from August 5 to 21. With our focus on Brazil this month, we took the opportunity to examine the performance of four major Brazil ports—Santos, Paranaguá, Rio Grande, and Suape. Read this month’s analysis to see which Brazil ports had top performance in terms of shortest arrival delays, shortest departure delays, shortest berth times, most vessel arrivals, and most mega vessels from May through July.
  • Sailing Schedule Change Index: This month, we provide an update to our sailing schedule changes index that tracks sailing schedule changes at the ports of Shanghai, Rotterdam, and Los Angeles. We share the number of schedule changes, the number of changes greater than 24 hours, and the average deviations of changes that were over 24 hours for 22 ocean carriers from January through July. We found that the number of schedule changes varied over the six months for Shanghai and Rotterdam, while the number of schedule changes remained fairly consistent for schedules through Los Angeles. Of the three ports in our index, Rotterdam experienced the most changes per schedule on average.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact France’s nationwide strikes on July 5 had on the Port of Le Havre. Unlike the May 26 strike, we did not see an impact on average vessel berth times.

July 2016 Issue Highlights

June was a busy month for global trade and transportation changes. On June 23, 2016, the majority of British citizens voted in favor of the referendum for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. And, on June 26, the new locks opened at the Panama Canal to accommodate New Panamax container ships with a capacity up to 13,000 TEUs. This month we took the opportunity to review UK port performance and measure schedule reliability on the trans-Pacific trade in this month’s Innovating.

Highlights include:

  • UK Port Performance Before Brexit: With our eyes on the UK this month, the GVVMC examined the performance of four major UK container ports - Port of Felixstowe, Port of Liverpool, London Gateway Port, and Port of Southampton. London had the shortest average vessel arrival delays and Felixstowe had the longest vessel departure delays. Overall, we found that the two smaller UK ports had the shortest average vessel arrival delays and berth times.
  • Schedule Reliability – Trans-Pacific Trade: After analyzing schedule reliability for three major trade lanes, we found the trans-Pacific routes to have stronger schedule reliability than the Asia-Europe and trans-Atlantic routes. Within the trans-Pacific trade, we compared schedule reliability for schedules to the US East and West Coasts by month from January to June. We also compared schedule reliability by carrier for four popular Asia to the US East Coast routes that go through the Panama and Suez canals.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of a new gate system on June 18 at the Port of Charleston. While gate activity experienced long delays during the first week of its implementation, we did not see an impact on vessel berth times.

June 2016 Issue Highlights

In June, CargoSmart participated in the Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) annual meeting in Long Beach. We heard first-hand how current events such as the new ocean carrier alliance structure, preparing for the new SOLAS container weight requirements, and port strikes in France directly impact US exporters’ businesses. Each of these are topics that we analyzed in Innovating this month.

Highlights include:

  • Schedule Reliability – Existing and Future Alliances: We reviewed ocean container carriers’ schedule reliability in three trades by alliance. The new mega alliances will go into effect in 2017. We analyzed the performance of the alliances grouped by the carriers in the existing and future alliances to see if alliances’ schedule reliability would be different when the carriers changed alliances. We did see a slight improvement in schedule reliability with the latest formation of alliances based on schedules from March to May.
  • SOLAS – Port Performance Before Implementation: Before the new SOLAS rules take effect on July 1, we analyzed the performance at six ports around the globe that announced that they will offer container weighing services. The ports are Nhava Sheva, Tanjung Pelepas, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Los Angeles, and Savannah. We reviewed vessel arrival and departure delays and berth times for March to May. From April to May, vessel arrivals and departures improved performance. We will see if the trend changes.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of the strikes in Le Havre, France in May. We found that no vessels arrived on May 17 and berth times were prolonged on May 26.

May 2016 Issue Highlights

The new Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s Verified Gross Mass (SOLAS VGM) requirements go into effect on July 1. Many uncertainties still remain, including countries’ implementation guidelines, VGM cutoff times, and how to obtain the VGM.  To help the industry prepare, we devoted a second issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating to the new SOLAS requirements. 

Download the full issue and watch a 9-minute webcast on-demand titled “SOLAS VGM: Analysis to Help You Prepare – Part 2.” Highlights include:

  • SOLAS - A Guide for Obtaining the VGM: We provide an update on the number of countries that have published implementation guidelines. We also provide an overview of how to obtain the VGM, including the two weighing methods, factors to consider when choosing a method, obtaining the container tare weight, and tips for collaborating with multiple parties to prepare the VGM.
  • SOLAS - When Are Carriers’ VGM Cutoff Times? The VGM information will likely be due to carriers before the CY cutoff time. We took the opportunity to analyze how many days in advance on average the CY cutoff time is before the vessel departure. We analyzed CY cutoff times for two more countries that have recently announced their guidelines for VGM compliance, China and the US.
  • World Incidents: Dockworkers held a strike at the Port of Lisbon in Portugal on April 20. The port was at a standstill during the strike, and further strike actions are expected as negotiations continue.

April 2016 Issue Highlights

The new Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s Verified Gross Mass (SOLAS VGM) requirements go into effect on July 1. Many uncertainties remain, including countries’ implementation guidelines, VGM cutoff times, and how potential delays may impact performance. In February and March, CargoSmart ran a customer survey. 820 people responded and almost all did not have plans for how to comply. To help the industry prepare, we devoted the April issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating to the new SOLAS requirements. 

Download the full issue and watch an 8-minute webcast on-demand titled “SOLAS VGM: Analysis to Help You Prepare.” Highlights include:

  • SOLAS - Are You Ready for the New Requirements? We provide an update on the number of countries that have published implementation guidelines. We also share results from our customer survey about their readiness for the new requirements, preferred ways to transmit VGM information to carriers, and expected biggest challenges to comply.
  • SOLAS - When Are Carriers’ VGM Cutoff Times? The VGM information will likely be due to carriers before the CY cutoff time. We took the opportunity to analyze how many days in advance on average the CY cutoff time is before the vessel departure. We analyzed CY cutoff times for two countries that have published implementation guidelines, the UK and Japan.
  • Port Performance – Major Export Ports: As exporters implement new processes to provide the VGM and carriers potentially turn away cargo without the VGM before the cutoff time, there could be an impact on port operations. We analyzed the performance of four major Asia export ports, Shanghai, Busan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. We measured average monthly vessel arrival and departure delays from January to March. We found that the average arrival and departure delays were closely correlated.
  • World Incidents: Dockworkers held a strike at the Port of Santos in Brazil on March 21. While we did not find an impact on vessel berth times, more strikes could occur as negotiations continue.

March 2016 Issue Highlights

This month’s issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features the performance of three fast-growing ports in Southeast Asia. Download the full issue and watch a 6-minute webcast on-demand about “Fast-Growing Southeast Asia Ports: How Are They Performing?” Highlights include:

  • Port Performance – Southeast Asia: We analyzed three of the region’s fastest growing ports, Port Klang, Tanjung Pelepas, and Ho Chi Minh City from December 2015 through February 2016. Our study’s findings reveal whether the Chinese New Year had an impact on port performance, which port had the shortest vessel arrival delays, and whether vessel size impacted performance.
  • Schedule Reliability – Alliances: We reviewed 19 ocean carriers’ schedule reliability in three trades by alliance from December 2015 through February 2016. Our findings showed that the 2M carriers had the highest reliability on the Asia-Europe and trans-Atlantic trades, while the CKYHE carriers had the highest reliability in the trans-Pacific trade.
  • Sailing Schedule Change Index: This month marks our first Sailing Schedule Change Index report. Each month we will measure the number of schedule changes with a change in arrival or departure times for three top ports—Shanghai, Rotterdam, and Los Angeles. For January and February, we found that over 26% of the schedule changes were more than 24 hours long and that the number of schedule changes per schedule increased from January to February.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of the strikes at the Port of Piraeus in Greece throughout January and February. We did find prolonged berth times followed by days of no vessel arrivals, revealing the impact of the strikes.

February 2016 Issue Highlights

This month’s issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on the trans-Pacific trade’s performance. Download the full issue and watch an 6-minute webcast comparing the US East and West Coast port performance on-demand. Highlights include:

  • Special Report – Trans-Pacific Transit Time Accuracy: We analyzed the transit time accuracy of schedules from Asia to two ports on the US East Coast and two ports on the West Coast from November through January. Our findings revealed that transit time accuracy was stronger on the West Coast than the East Coast during the three months. We also share the top performing carriers on the routes.
  • Port Performance – Top US Ports: Next, we reviewed port performance at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York-New Jersey, and Savannah. Los Angeles had the shortest average vessel arrival delays among the four ports. Only Los Angeles and Long Beach served vessels with a capacity of 10,000 or more TEUs. Although we found berth times to be longer at the two Southern California ports, we did not find the mega vessels to be correlated with vessel arrival delay performance.
  • Schedule Reliability – Asia to Europe and US: We also analyzed schedule reliability on routes between Asia and Europe and between Asia and North America from November through January. The trends in reliability were similar between the two trade lanes. The schedules from Europe and the US were more reliable than the routes from Asia to the two regions.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of Winter Storm Jonas and a strike on the Port of New York and New Jersey in January. The storm caused the terminals to close and berth times to be prolonged.

January 2016 Issue Highlights

The January issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on schedule reliability in the Middle East and South Asia region and Australia’s port performance. We are also pleased to launch the Innovating Insights webcast series. Watch this month’s 7-minute webcast “The Middle East & South Asia: Are Its Ports Handling the Fast Growth.

  • Schedule Reliability – Middle East and South Asia: We investigated to see if the region’s fast growth has impacted its schedule reliability from October 1 through December 19, 2015. Overall, we found that reliability was over 88% for the Europe - Middle East and the Asia - South Asia trade lanes. We also investigated to see whether Jeddah or Jebel Ali had greater schedule reliability from Hamburg and whether Colombo or Nhava Sheva had greater schedule reliability from Singapore.
  • Port Performance – Australia Ports: We analyzed port performance at the top four ports in Australia—Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Fremantle. From September 21 through December 20, 2015, Melbourne and Brisbane had the most large-size vessel arrivals while Fremantle had the shortest average vessel arrival delays. When comparing this month’s study with our study of Australia ports in May, Fremantle has surpassed Brisbane in terms of having the shortest average vessel arrival delays.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of the protests that occurred at Malta Freeport on December 16, 2015. We found minimal impact, although the container vessel arrival count was slightly lower than normal.

December 2015 Issue Highlights

The December issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on transit time accuracy for 10 popular port pairs, port performance of five major US ports, and schedule reliability on the trans-Pacific trade.

  • Special Feature – Transit Time Accuracy: We selected the top 10 most-searched port pairs in CargoSmart’s sailing schedule search platform, Big Schedules, from September 27 to November 21, 2015 to review their transit time accuracy. We found that the transit time average deviations ranged from 10.1 hours (Hong Kong to Singapore) to 26.9 (Hamburg to Shanghai). We also delved into the details of how the top carriers performed.
  • Port Performance – US Ports: As shippers consider shipping through US East, West, and Gulf Coast ports, CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) analyzed the performance of the top five most-searched US ports through Big Schedules – Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Long Beach, and Savannah – from September 1 to November 24, 2015. The GVVMC analyzed vessel arrival delays, berth times, and the size of vessels arriving and berthing at the ports. Houston and Los Angeles had the shortest vessel arrival delays, while New York and Savannah served the most vessel arrivals.
  • Schedule Reliability – Trans-Pacific Trade Lanes: We analyzed the schedule reliability on trans-Pacific trade lanes over the last three months. The scope covered 19 ocean container carriers and over 10,500 schedules. Reliability over the three months was very stable, maintaining reliability of 78%. As a comparison, we reported that performance of the trans-Pacific trade over the first five months of 2015 ranged from 36% to 54%. The trans-Pacific trade schedule reliability has greatly improved since earlier this year.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact of the strike that started on November 14 at three Portugal ports. We found prolonged vessel berth times at the start of the strike at the Port of Lisbon and minimal impact thereafter.

November 2015 Issue Highlights

The November issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating marks our third anniversary. This special issue includes a review of schedule reliability along three trade lanes for the past year as well as a review of the frequency and type of vessel and port incidents affecting cargo.

  • Schedule Reliability – 3 Major Trade Lanes: We reviewed the schedule reliability of the three main east-west trade lanes over the past year — Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic, and trans-Pacific. We measured over 140,000 schedules among 20 ocean container carriers and found that the Asia-Europe trade lane had the highest reliability and the trans-Pacific trade lane had the lowest.
  • Port Performance – Europe: Next, we analyzed the performance of the top five searched European ports through the Big Schedules (www.bigschedules.com) sailing schedule search engine — Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe, and Bremerhaven. Over the last three months, our findings revealed that Rotterdam served the most mega vessels, Felixstowe had the fewest vessel arrivals, and Bremerhaven had the shortest average vessel berth times.
  • Vessel Delay Study – Asia to South America East Coast: We reviewed the vessel arrival delays over the last two months at six South America East Coast ports – Santos, Paranagua, Navegantes, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Rio Grande. We found the number of services and average vessel capacity decreased and delays increased from September to October.
  • World Incidents: We looked back at 279 incidents recorded from July 2013 through September 2015. We reviewed the trends in frequency and types of vessel, port, and weather incidents affecting cargo over the last three years.

October 2015 Issue Highlights

On October 13-15, CargoSmart will be participating as a gold sponsor in the TPM Asia Conference in Shenzhen, China. With our focus on Asia trade, the October issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on alliance, port, and carrier performance in Asia and on the trans-Pacific trade lane.

  • Vessel Delay Study – Trans-Pacific Alliances: We prepared a special feature on 26 ocean carrier alliance services in the trans-Pacific trade from August 15 to September 15. Which alliance offered the most services to Savannah? Which alliance had the fewest vessel arrivals delays of more than 12 hours from Asia to Long Beach? And, which alliance had the largest average vessel capacity to the Port of New York-New Jersey? This article shares insights on trans-Pacific services to the US that the 2M, CKYHE, G6, and O3 alliances offer.
  • Port Performance – Asia Ports of Origin: We reviewed the performance of three popular Asia ports of origin in CargoSmart’s Big Schedules sailing schedule search engine. They included the ports of Yantian, Ningbo-Zhoushan, and Kaohsiung. Overall, we found that vessel arrival delays and berth times improved from August to September as fewer vessels visited the ports.
  • Schedule Reliability – Trans-Pacific Trade: From mid-July to mid-September, schedule reliability in the trans-Pacific trade improved. When reviewing the reliability by direction, we found that the westbound direction performed better than the eastbound direction. We also reviewed reliability for four popular port-pairs in the trade.
  • Port and Terminal Visits: Throughout the year, members of CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) visited ports and terminals in Asia, Europe, and North America. This month, we share findings about terminal planning and operations practices and challenges.
  • World Incidents: In our Incidents Around the World column featuring vessel and port disruptions, we analyzed vessel berth times to see if the 8.3 magnitude earthquake in Chile on September 16 had an impact. We did not find a significant impact on the average berth times.

September 2015 Issue Highlights

The September issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on the performance of the top three searched Asia ports in Big Schedules, a vessel study on the North America – Mediterranean services, and schedule reliability on the trans-Atlantic trade.

  • Asia Port Performance: We took a closer look at the top three ports searched through the newly launched sailing schedule search engine platform, Big Schedules. The three Asia ports, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore, continued to hold their lead in terms of the number of sailing schedule searches through the platform. We compared the vessel arrival delays, berth times, and vessel count and capacity at the ports in July and August. We found that performance improved at each of the ports from July to August.
  • North America – Mediterranean Services: As ocean carriers started to withdraw from the North America - Mediterranean trade in July, we looked at the trends of the vessels in service on the trade lane. We reviewed the number of vessels, vessel capacity, and average berth times of the vessels that visited the top Mediterranean ports in the trade lane from May through August. We found that the vessel count and capacity peaked in June during the period.
  • Schedule Reliability - Trans-Atlantic Trade: After reviewing over 1,500 schedules from 17 carriers from June through August, we found that schedule reliability was higher in the eastbound direction than in the westbound direction. Overall, schedule reliability for the trade was 67% in August.
  • World Incidents: We looked at the impact on the number of vessel arrivals and average vessel berth times at the Port of Tianjin after the tragic port accident that occurred on August 12. We found that two days after the incident, vessel arrivals and average berth times appeared to return to normal.

August 2015 Issue Highlights

The August issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on the number of sailing schedule changes of frequently searched ports in CargoSmart’s new Big Schedules search engine, US port performance, and alliance schedule reliability.

  • Schedule Changes of Top-Searched Ports: CargoSmart’s new sailing schedule engine, Big Schedules, processed over 2,000 searches in its first week in July. We looked at the number of schedule changes and changes per schedule for the top searched Asian, European, and North American ports. Singapore topped the charts with the most schedule changes and highest average changes per schedule from mid-July to early August.
  • US Port Performance: We reviewed the June and July port performance of four major US ports - Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York and New Jersey, and Savannah. We analyzed vessel arrival delays, berth times, and vessel size at the ports. Overall, the two East Coast ports had more vessel arrivals and experienced an increase in vessel arrivals, while vessel arrivals decreased at the two West Coast ports. On the West Coast, mega vessels had longer average vessel arrival delays than the vessels overall at the Port of Long Beach. Mega vessels actually had shorter average vessel arrival delays than the overall average at the Port of Los Angeles.
  • Schedule Reliability - Alliances: As alliances continued to cancel sailings on major trade lanes, we reviewed their schedule reliability from May 31 through July 25 to see if schedule reliability fluctuated during this period.
  • World Incidents: We reviewed the impact of the overtime work ban at the Port of Limassol in Cyprus in July. After July 20, average berth times were longer than normal.

July 2015 Issue Highlights

The July issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles on the Asia-Europe trade. As capacity has been high, freight rates dropped, and ocean carriers have canceled sailings on the Asia-Europe trade lane during the first half of this year, we investigated to see if the trade has experienced any changes in port performance. This month, we feature articles about transshipment port performance, schedule reliability, and mega vessels’ average arrival delays in the Asia-Europe trade.

  • Middle East Port Performance: We analyzed the port performance of three transshipment ports in the Middle East—Port Said, Port of Jeddah, and Port of Jebel Ali. We found that as carriers canceled sailings, the number of vessel arrivals dropped at the three ports from May to June. We found that Port Said and Jebel Ali experienced longer vessel arrival delays and berth times from May to June, while performance improved at the Port of Jeddah.
  • Schedule Reliability – Asia-Europe Routes: Reviewing schedule reliability along the Asia-Europe trade lane, we found that reliability steadily improved from January through June, in both the westbound and eastbound directions.
  • Mega Vessels in Europe: We investigated the performance of mega vessels at five European ports in June. Similar to our findings in the April 2015 issue of Innovating that revealed stronger performance of very large vessels at the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam, we found that the mega vessels at all five European ports experienced shorter average vessel arrival delays than vessels overall in June.
  • World Incidents: After reviewing vessel berth times in Chile, we did not see an impact on average vessel berth times from a nationwide strike in Chile in June.

June 2015 Issue Highlights

The June issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles that compare the performance of North America West and East Coast ports and review schedule reliability along the trans-Pacific trade. We also analyzed the performance of three of the fastest growing ports in Asia.

  • Vessel Delay Comparison – North America Coasts: As shippers consider their port options, we analyzed vessel arrival delays at the top 12 North America West and East Coast ports from January through May. The East Coast ports consistently performed better than the West Coast ports through April. However, the ports were nearly even in May, indicating that the backlog has likely cleared and operations have returned to normal three months after the ILWU and PMA reached a tentative agreement in February and ratified the contract in May.
  • Schedule Reliability – Trans-Pacific Routes: We reviewed the schedule reliability in the trans-Pacific trade from January through May. The overall schedule reliability improved in March through May after the ILWU and PMA completed their contract negotiations. We also found that westbound routes had stronger schedule reliability than eastbound routes.
  • Port Performance – South and Southeast Asia Ports: We analyzed the performance of three fast-growing ports in South and Southeast Asia—Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, and Tanjung Pelepas. Ho Chi Minh City and Tanjung Pelepas had similar performance, while Colombo had longer average vessel arrival delays and shorter berth times. In terms of very large vessels, Colombo’s visiting large vessels had the shortest arrival delays and berth times among the three ports.
  • World Incidents: We reviewed the impact of the ongoing port strikes that started on May 13 at the Port of Callao in Peru. Through the end of May, only two days experienced prolonged vessel berth times.

May 2015 Issue Highlights

The May issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles about cargo delays around Australia. In this month’s issue, we analyzed port performance, sailing schedule changes, and the impact of a severe storm in Australia. We also reviewed schedule reliability along trans-Atlantic routes.

  • Australia Port Performance: We reviewed the performance of the ports of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle from mid-January to Mid-April. Brisbane led the way in terms of shorter berth times and vessel arrival delays.
  • Australia Sailing Schedule Changes: Continuing our study of sailing schedule changes around the globe, we reviewed the schedule changes for the top five ports in Australia from January through March. We identified over 65,000 sailing schedule changes to over 18,000 schedules from 22 ocean carriers. Of the five ports, Melbourne experienced the most schedule changes.
  • Schedule Reliability - Trans-Atlantic Routes: We analyzed the schedule reliability of trans-Atlantic routes from mid-February through mid-April. Overall, eastbound traffic performed better than westbound traffic.
  • World Incidents: We reviewed the impact that a severe storm on April 21 had on the Port of Sydney. The port closed for two days and operations returned to normal shortly after the storm.

April 2015 Issue Highlights

The April issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles about improved port performance in Rotterdam and Antwerp, delays along the Asia to the US East Coast route, and a comparison of services before and after the 2M and Ocean Three alliances launched.

  • Rotterdam and Antwerp Port Performance: In March, barge operators experienced port congestion with long wait times at the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Antwerp. We investigated whether vessel arrival delays and berth times were also increasing at the two ports. We found that delays actually decreased from the end of December through March. We also investigated whether very large vessels experienced longer delays than average. Our findings revealed that the very large vessels had shorter delays than average for the vessels at the ports.
  • Asia to US East Coast - Panama vs Suez: We studied vessel arrival delays on services from Asia to the US East Coast. Carriers offer services for these regions that pass through either the Panama or the Suez canals. We compared the performance of the services through the two canals and found that services through the Panama Canal experienced fewer delays.
  • Alliance Services - Schedule Reliability: Two new ocean carrier alliances, 2M (Maersk and MSC) and Ocean Three (CMA CGM, UASC, and China Shipping), launched their joint service networks in January. This month, we analyzed the performance of the carriers’ schedule reliability before and after the launch of the joint services.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact of worker slowdowns on vessel berth times at the Port of Nhava Sheva in March. Berth times increased during the labor actions.

March 2015 Issue Highlights

The March issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating focuses on the trans-Pacific trade. This special edition examines the impact of the prolonged negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) that started in May 2014 and concluded on February 20, 2015. While the port congestion may start to improve, it may take months for port, vessel, and schedule reliability to return to normal.

  • Special Report – North America Sailing Schedule Changes: This month, we feature a special report on sailing schedule changes for the top 10 North America ports. We analyzed over 168,000 vessel schedules for North America ports from 22 ocean carriers from November 2014 through January 2015. We found that New York, Savannah, Los Angeles, and Manzanillo experienced steadily increasing schedule changes over the three months leading up to the PMA and ILWU contract negotiations resolution. The report also presents the ports with the greatest increases in schedule changes and changes per schedule.
  • Southern California Port Performance: We provide a detailed analysis of vessel arrival delays, berth times, and the number and type of vessel arrivals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach from August 2014 through January 2015. The vessel arrival delays and berth times mounted through January, while the number of vessel arrivals decreased in January.
  • Trans-Pacific Trade Reliability: We measured schedule reliability in the trans-Pacific trade. Our findings revealed that westbound traffic performed better than eastbound traffic, and traffic to the US East Coast was stronger than to the West Coast from mid-December through January.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact of worker slowdowns on vessel berth times at the Port of Oakland. Berth times gradually increased from mid-January through mid-February.

February 2015 Issue Highlights

The February issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating focuses on China. The issue features analysis about the performance of the three largest mainland China ports, vessel arrival delays at Australia ports, and schedule reliability along China-Europe trade lanes.

  • Mainland China Ports: Ports in China often experience a surge in activity as shippers export products before the Chinese New Year holiday week. Leading up to this year’s holiday, we reviewed the performance of the three largest mainland China ports of Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Ningbo-Zhoushan. We found delays to be longest at the Port of Shanghai, shortest at the Port of Shenzhen, and increasing the most at the Port of Ningbo.
  • Australia Port Performance: Following Australia and China signing a Declaration of Intent for a free trade agreement in November, we reviewed the performance of five Australia ports. This month, we present the findings of berth times and vessel size in a new scatterplot chart to show the relationship between the two factors.
  • China-Europe Reliability: We analyzed reliability along four routes between China and Europe over the last two months. Overall, we found the performance on the westbound routes to be slightly better performing than the eastbound routes.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact of protests at India’s largest port, Nhava Sheva. While berth times were prolonged during the protests, they quickly returned to normal levels when the protests ended.

January 2015 Issue Highlights

The January issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features analysis about Canadian West Coast port performance, Busan and Ningbo vessel arrival performance, and trans-Pacific trade schedule reliability.

  • Canadian West Coast Ports: As US West Coast labor negotiations that have caused shippers to divert cargo through Canada continue and winter weather has started to take its toll, we reviewed the port performance along the Canadian West Coast. Our findings show a trend in increasing berth times at Port Metro Vancouver and longer vessel arrival delays for the smallest vessels at Prince Rupert Port.
  • Busan and Ningbo Comparison: The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan in China continues to grow rapidly and compete with Busan Port in South Korea for being the fifth largest port. This month, we analyzed the vessel arrival performance for the last three months. 22.9% vessels were delayed over a day. Overall, Ningbo experienced longer vessel arrival delays than Busan.
  • Trans-Pacific Reliability: We revisited schedule reliability in the trans-Pacific trade. We analyzed trans-Pacific trade port pairs with Los Angeles and Long Beach and found that schedule reliability deteriorated at the end of 2014.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact of a second dockworker strike at the Port of Antwerp in December had on vessel berth times.

December 2014 Issue Highlights

The December issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating features articles about Oakland, Seattle, and Tacoma port performance over the last six months, an update on the port performance of Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Nhava Sheva, and a schedule reliability analysis of Asia-Europe trade lanes.

  • Oakland, Seattle, and Tacoma Ports: As port congestion has increased at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with multiple vessels anchored and waiting to berth throughout November, shippers have been diverting cargo to alternate ports. This month, we reviewed the performance of three nearby alternate US West Coast ports, Oakland, Seattle, and Tacoma, to see if there has been an impact on performance.
  • Asia Vessel Delay Study: In the October issue of Innovating, we studied the vessel arrival delays at the congested ports of Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Nhava Sheva. This month we provide an update of the ports’ performance. Ho Chi Minh City and Nhava Sheva had steady performance, while Manila’s average vessel arrival delays increased. Although the Philippines government lifted its truck ban in September, the vessel arrival delays have not yet improved in Manila.
  • Asia-Europe Reliability: We reviewed schedule reliability along Asia-Europe trade lanes. As peak season drew to a close, we investigated to see whether reliability improved during the fall. On the westbound routes, we did find an improvement in schedule reliability.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact that the November 24 dockworker strike at the Port of Antwerp had on vessel berth times.

November 2014 Issue Highlights

This month marks the second anniversary of CargoSmart’s Innovating. The anniversary issue features the port performance and schedule reliability of Los Angeles and Long Beach as well as an interview with CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Center (GVVMC).

  • Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Congestion: As vessels continue to wait outside the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, we investigated the trend of vessel arrival delays and berth times at the two ports. Our analysis found that vessel arrival delays and berth times at both ports have increased, reaching a six-month high through mid-October.
  • Los Angeles and Long Beach Reliability: We analyzed carriers’ schedule reliability on four popular port pairs to and from Los Angeles and Long Beach over the last eight weeks. While some carriers had 100% schedule reliability, the average performance on the routes ranged from 51% to 75% schedule reliability.
  • GVVMC Interview: As Innovating celebrates its second year, so does CargoSmart's Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC). We interviewed the team to hear about its increasing scope and analytics. Topics included correlating weather forecast data with vessel exceptions, vessel clustering discoveries, and mega vessel observations.
  • World Incidents: We investigated the impact that the October 6 strike at the Port of Haifa in Israel had on vessel berth times in October.

October 2014 Issue Highlights

The October issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating focuses on Asian port performance, schedule reliability in the trans-Pacific trade, and global sailing schedule changes.

  • Hong Kong and Shenzhen Port Performance: We reviewed Hong Kong and Shenzhen port performance in terms of vessel arrival delays, berth times, and the impact of vessel size on performance. Based on 12 months of data, we found that while the average vessel arrival delay over the past year was 18 hours, Hong Kong had a gradual increase in delays compared to Shenzhen.
  • Asia Vessel Delay Study: Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, and Nhava Sheva have recently had port congestion. While all three ports experienced delays due to truck or rail connections at the ports, Manila experienced the most prolonged delays that affected vessel arrivals with more than 82% of vessel arrivals delayed more than a day between July and September.
  • Trans-Pacific Reliability: Ocean carriers’ schedule reliability along four popular port-pairs in the trans-Pacific trade varied recently. On average, the Shanghai to Los Angeles route was the most reliable, while the all-water route from Singapore to New York was the least reliable.
  • Special Report - Sailing Schedule Changes: We investigated the number of changes that occurred globally and the ports that experienced the most changes. We identified nearly 22.5 million schedule changes over the last three months, underscoring the challenges of shipment planning .
  • World Incidents: In September, vessels waited outside the Port of Hong Kong during Typhoon Kalmaegi. We investigated the impact that the typhoon had on vessel berth times.

September 2014 Issue Highlights

The September issue features analysis of the impact of US cargo diversions to Canada, carriers’ schedule reliability for Rotterdam, and Asia-Europe trade lane port performance.

  • US Cargo Diversions to Canadian Ports: As shippers diverted cargo from US ports to Canadian ports to mitigate the risk of a possible port strike on the US West Coast, the Canadian West Coast ports experienced a surge in TEU throughput. We analyzed the impact cargo growth has had on vessel arrival delays and berth times at Port Metro Vancouver and Prince Rupert Port.
  • Rotterdam Congestion: Although delays are starting to ease at the Port of Rotterdam, we found that on average, schedule reliability from Hong Kong to Rotterdam was 39% from July 20 to August 16. Some carriers have diverted vessels to Antwerp. Our findings show that schedule reliability from Hong Kong to Antwerp for the same period was slightly more reliable, with an average of 55%.
  • Asia-Europe Trade: This month, we reviewed the performance of seven top Asian ports in the Asia-Europe trade during peak season. We found that over 37% of vessel arrivals at the Asian ports on the Asia-Europe trade lane were delayed more than a day from July 15 to August 15.
  • World Incidents: On August 18, container gate-in and gate-out activities were suspended in Ningbo, China due to a trucker strike. We investigated the impact on average vessel berth times.

August 2014 Issue Highlights

The August issue features analysis of vessel capacity’s impact on delays in the Americas, schedule reliability on three popular routes, and US East Coast port performance.

  • Vessel Capacity Impact on Delays in the Americas: Do vessels with a 10,000+ TEU capacity have stronger on-time performance than smaller vessels at six North American and South American ports? Similar to past studies’ findings in Europe, this month’s study results showed that larger vessels were slightly more prone to delays than smaller vessels during July.
  • Schedule Reliability: What are some of the most popular searches in CargoSmart’s newest mobile app, SSM+? We share the schedule reliability rankings of the top carriers and alliances on three of the routes. Among our findings, Evergreen’s schedules were the most reliable for the Hong Kong-to-Antwerp route in July.
  • US East Coast Ports: As shippers moved cargo earlier and through US East Coast ports to avoid potential US West Coast port disruptions in July, we analyzed the vessel arrival delays and berth times at East Coast ports. Each of the ports we studied experienced longer delays and berth times in July compared to June.
  • World Incidents: Three Philippines ports closed during Typhoon Rammasun on July 16. We investigated the impact.

July 2014 Issue Highlights

The July issue features the results of using CargoSmart’s new schedule reliability methodology to measure carrier and alliance performance, an analysis of the rejected P3 Network’s win/loss ports, and the impact of labor negotiations on berth times at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

  • Carrier Reliability on Asia-Europe Routes: We used CargoSmart's new sailing schedule reliability methodology to study carrier schedule reliability at four popular Asia-Europe port pairs and identified the top three performers in each route.
  • Alliance Reliability Performance: We analyzed alliance reliability performance by trade for the G6 and CKYHE alliances and three mega carriers (Maersk, MSC, and CMA CGM).
  • P3’s Win/Loss Ports: We compared the performance of five South China and Malaysian ports that had been expected to either gain or lose cargo due to the P3 Network to evaluate whether the demise of P3 is good news or bad news for shippers.
  • Temporary Southern California Port Closures: Although the dockworkers’ contract expired on June 30, the ILWU and PMA insist that normal operations will continue despite heavy congestion from a chassis shortage. This month, we studied berth times at the two ports.

June 2014 Issue Highlights

The June issue features an analysis of US West Coast port performance leading up to the ILWU contract expiration date, the impact of vessel size on its on-time performance at European ports, and introduce a new methodology for measuring schedule reliability.

  • US West Coast Ports: On June 30, the current International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) contract is set to expire. This month, we analyzed the port performance from March through May at the two largest US West Coast ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach. We found that the port performance has improved in the months leading up to the ILWU contract expiration date. However, if work slowdowns or stoppages occur, the ports could experience significant delays.
  • Vessel Capacity Impact on Delays in Europe: Do vessels with greater than a 10,000 TEU capacity have stronger on-time performance than smaller vessels at four European ports? Our study’s results showed that among the ports, 24% of the larger vessels arrived over a day late, while only 13.4% of the vessels overall arrived over a day late.
  • New Schedule Reliability: We are pleased to introduce CargoSmart’s new sailing schedule reliability methodology. The new methodology provides a better schedule reliability benchmark by carrier, port pair, transit time, and service.
  • World Incidents: The Nhava Sheva port in India closed due to electrical maintenance in early May. We investigated the impact.

May 2014 Issue Highlights

The May issue provides an analysis of the performance of the top four ports in Canada, European ports along Asia-Europe trade lanes, and the impact of the Cyprus port strikes.

  • Canadian Ports: In July, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is expected to implement the third phase of its Advance Commercial Information (ACI) eManifest initiative. For most Canada-bound cargo, freight forwarders for all modes of transportation will be required to transmit advance house bill data electronically. Vessel schedule changes due to port disruptions can affect forwarders’ filing process. In our feature article, we analyzed the performance of the top four ports in Canada to determine and compare the current average berth times, on-time arrivals, and vessel arrival delays.
  • Asia-Europe Trade: Will European ports be able to handle an influx of newly deployed mega vessels? To find out the current port performance, we reviewed the vessel arrival performance at six European ports along the Asia-Europe trade. On average, 41.2% of vessel arrivals were more than a day late from mid-March to mid-April.
  • World Incidents: Throughout April, workers protested at ports in Argentina, Cyprus, Greece, and the US. We investigated the impact of the Limassol port strike in Cyprus and found that it caused prolonged vessel berth times on the strike dates.

April 2014 Issue Highlights

At the end of February and throughout March, truckers held protests and a strike at Canada’s largest port, Port Metro Vancouver. Cargo transiting through the port by truck experienced major disruptions. As a result, many shippers diverted cargo to alternate nearby ports. The April issue provides an analysis of port performance in the Pacific Northwest, a review of port performance in India, and the impact of the port disruptions in Vancouver.

  • Pacific Northwest Ports: In our feature article this month, we took the opportunity to compare the port performance of the surrounding Pacific Northwest ports where shippers may have rerouted their cargo – Port of Tacoma, Port of Prince Rupert, and Port of Seattle. We reviewed the traffic, vessel arrival delays, and berth times at each of the ports during the months of February and March.
  • India Vessel Delays: India has started several port expansion projects to alleviate port congestion. This month we analyzed vessel arrival delays at India’s ports and found that 35.5% of the vessels arrived more than a day late from mid-February through mid-March.
  • World Incidents: In our monthly Incidents Around the World column, we analyzed the impact of the trucker protests and strike on average daily berth times at the Port Metro Vancouver.

March 2014 Issue Highlights

March marks the implementation of Japan’s new Advance Filing Rules (AFR). This month’s issue provides an analysis of Japan's port performance, types of exceptions that could impact AFR filings, and Asia transshipment port performance.

  • Japan Port Performance: We reviewed the vessel arrival and berth time performance at the ports of Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, and Kobe in February before AFR went into effect. The ports had a strong performance, with the smaller ports having a slightly better performance than the larger ports.
  • Japan AFR & Shipment Exceptions: Shipment exceptions may affect AFR filings. Learn how missed transshipments, unplanned transshipments, rolled bookings, and skipped ports can impact the AFR filing process
  • Asia Transshipment Ports: With reports in the news about China seeking to increase transshipment volume, we compared the Port of Shanghai’s performance with three nearby transshipment ports in Asia.
  • World Incidents: We reviewed the impact that the nationwide port strikes in France on February 6 and 12 had on vessel berth times.

February 2014 Issue Highlights

As a special edition for the Chinese New Year, the February issue features three articles this month that analyze port, vessel, and schedule performance in China.

  • Chinese New Year Effect: Once again, we found that the Chinese New Year had an effect on port performance. Similar to last year, vessel arrival delays increased in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
  • North and South China Ports: We analyzed the performance of four ports in the north and south of China that varied in size, location, vessel arrival delays, and berth times. We found that berth times correlated with port size, while delays varied among the ports.
  • EU-China Schedule Reliability: We measured the transit time deviations, percentage of on-time vessels, and top performing port-pairs for nearly 700 vessels along the Europe-China trade lanes.
  • World Incidents: Among the vessel and port incidents that caused delays in January, we analyzed the effect that the January 24 port strikes in Brazil had on port performance.

January 2014 Issue Highlights

The January issue provides a comparison of two U.S. East Coast ports, an analysis of schedule delays in the trans-Atlantic trade, and a monthly report of vessel and port incidents around the globe.

  • Port Comparison: As the Port of New York and New Jersey experienced delays in 2013, shippers and carriers may be considering shifting cargo to the Port of Virginia. We analyzed vessel arrival delays to compare their performance.
  • Trans-Atlantic Trade: As cold and stormy weather passed through the US East Coast and Europe this fall, it caused delays. We analyzed vessel schedules along the trans-Atlantic trade lane to compare schedule reliability at the ports.
  • World Incidents: Among the vessel and port incidents that caused delays in December, we analyzed the effect that the December 22 – 24 port strike in Jakarta had on berth times.

December 2013 Issue Highlights

The December issue features analysis about the potential impact of the P3 Network, schedule deviations along the intra-Asia trade, missed transshipments, and the trucker strike in Los Angeles.

  • P3 Network: What type of impact might the P3 Network alliance of the three largest ocean carriers have on port performance? We reviewed the performance of five ports that could have additional vessel calls.
  • Intra-Asia Trade: Ocean carriers have introduced several new services and exchanged slots in the intra-Asia trade to improve coverage. We took the opportunity to analyze schedule changes in the shifting trade.
  • Missed Transshipments: Transshipments are often susceptible to shipment delays since they rely on one or more connections to reach their destination. This month, we describe four causes of missed transshipments and actions that ocean carriers consider when re-planning a missed transshipment.
  • World Incidents: Among the vessel and port incidents that caused delays in November, we analyzed the effect that the trucker strike in Los Angeles on November 18 and 19 had on port operations.

November 2013 Issue Highlights

This month marks the one-year anniversary of CargoSmart’s Innovating. With a refreshed look, the anniversary issue provides an interview with the head of the GVMMC, the team behind the e-newsletter’s insights, and an analysis of schedule, vessel, and port delays around the globe.

  • Schedule Reliability Study: We investigated schedule reliability across eight ports. By comparing 22 carriers' sailing schedules' estimated times of arrival with their actual times of arrival, we reveal which ports' schedules were most reliable.
  • Vessel Delay Reasons: Many factors can cause a vessel delay including weather, labor related, schedule changes, and vessel repair. Some factors are within a carriers' control and some are not. We analyzed delay reasons for September. Can you guess what was the greatest cause of delays?
  • GVVMC Interview: As Innovating celebrates its first year, so does CargoSmart's Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC). In this issue, we interviewed the head of the center to hear about the GVVMC's vessel coverage changes, data analysis achievements, and future plans.
  • World Incidents: Among the vessel and port incidents that caused delays in October, we analyzed the effect that two strikes had on vessel berth times at the ports of Oakland and Baltimore in the U.S.

October 2013 Issue Highlights

The October issue features analysis about vessel and port delays at the world’s top ports, in South America, along the Asia-Europe trade lanes, and around the recent Typhoon Usagi.

  • Top Infrastructure Ports: In September, the World Economic Forum published a report that ranked the Netherlands, Singapore, and Hong Kong as having the top three port infrastructures. This month’s issue provides an analysis and comparison of the top three ports.
  • South America Ports: With vessel arrivals increasing in South America, we reviewed the on-time arrival performance at South America Ports and share findings for five of its ports.
  • Asia-Europe Trade: Did your cargo arrive on time as we approach the holiday season? We analyzed 16 ocean carriers’ vessel arrivals along the Asia-Europe trade lanes and found that 18% of vessel schedules were more than two days late.
  • World Incidents: Severe Typhoon Usagi caused Taiwan and Hong Kong port closures and vessel delays in September.

September 2013 Issue Highlights

The September issue features analysis about the effect on vessel delays from political instability in Egypt, Typhoon Utor in Hong Kong, labor disruptions in Oakland, and more.

  • Top China Ports: CargoSmart will be speaking and exhibiting at the Freight Forwarding China 2013 conference in Shanghai on September 5-6. As we prepared for the conference, we took an in-depth look at the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, and Shenzhen and compared their performance.
  • Egypt: Has Egypt's recent political instability had an effect on the Suez Canal's transit times or Port Said's vessel delays? CargoSmart's Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center investigated to find out.
  • Skipped Ports: Skipped ports of call can cause serious shipment delays. We share information about this type of exception, two scenarios of skipped port cases, and how carriers usually respond.
  • World Incidents: We feature the effect that Typhoon Utor had in Hong Kong on port performance as well as the continuing port productivity issues at the Port of Oakland in August.

August 2013 Issue Highlights

The August issue features analysis about transshipment ports, trans-Pacific schedule accuracy, the Middle East, and recent incidents.

  • Transshipment Ports: In our third article about transshipment performance, we analyze and compare two of the most popular transshipment ports in Europe, Rotterdam and Antwerp.
  • Trans-Pacific Schedules: As we enter peak season, we researched trans-Pacific sailing schedule accuracy. Comparing actual arrival times with the estimated time of arrivals of the long-term schedules provided by ocean carriers, our findings revealed that 30% of the schedules had early arrivals, 48% had delays under two days late, and 22% had delays over two days.
  • Middle East: One of the fastest growing regions, our research revealed that over the last two months, the performance varied across ports in the Middle East. While the larger ports in the region had longer dwell times, the smaller ports experienced more frequent and longer delays.
  • World Incidents: In our new monthly column, we review the impact that the Brazil strikes and Port of Oakland labor action have had on cargo delays in July.

July 2013 Issue Highlights

The July issue features analysis about transshipment and vessel delays throughout Asia, the US Gulf states, and Europe.

  • Transshipment Ports: In our second article about transshipment performance, we compare two more Asia transshipment ports, Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Port Klang in Malaysia.
  • US Gulf States: With the expansion of the Panama Canal in progress and expected increase in traffic to the US Gulf states, we analyzed the performance of four major Gulf states' ports and found that 22% of vessel arrivals were delayed over one day.
  • China and Europe: In June, we analyzed port performance in China and along the Asia-Europe trade lane. We reviewed vessel arrival performance at 10 major China and Europe ports.
  • Incidents Around the World: In a new column started this month, we explored two container vessel casualties and the Indonesia port strike to measure their impact on cargo delays.

June 2013 Issue Highlights

The June issue features analysis about transshipment and vessel delays throughout Asia, North America, and South America.

  • Transshipment Ports: In our first article about transshipment performance, we compare two popular Asia transshipment ports, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
  • US-Japan: This month we analyzed the US-Japan trade's vessel performance. We found that the Japan ports performed slightly higher than the US ports in our analysis.
  • Asia-South America: In May, multiple carriers announced alliances, new services, and larger vessels for the Asia-South America trade lane. We compared the vessel arrival performance of six South America ports.
  • Oakland Port: On May 17, Port of Oakland experienced an unfortunate accident and stopped port operations for 24 hours. While berth time was extended for the vessels at the port, operations recovered quickly.

May 2013 Issue Highlights

The May issue provides analysis of port, canal, and vessel delays around the globe.

  • Hong Kong Port Strike: The strike ended on May 6 and caused increased arrival delays, over 107 vessel diversions, and longer dwell times. Vessels skipped the Hong Kong port of call to keep vessels on schedule.
  • Canal Comparison: The Panama Canal's expansion is expected to be complete in 2015. Meanwhile, the Suez Canal traffic is increasing. We compared the transit time performance of vessels traversing the canals.
  • India Analysis: We studied the timeliness of vessel arrivals at India's ports. Our findings show that the performance by port varied widely.
  • Vessel Casualty: The Norfolk Express ran aground near Bremerhaven, Germany, on route to Le Havre, France, in April. The incident caused an eight-day cargo delay.

April 2013 Issue Highlights

The April issue provides analysis of vessel activity spanning three continents in the northern hemisphere: North America, Europe, and Asia.

  • In the U.S., we monitored ports to determine whether sequestration has had an impact on vessel delays. We did not find significant delays due to sequestration through March.
  • As carriers continue to deliver larger vessels, we looked at the impact mega ships have on vessel and port delays in Europe and Asia. We found that 28% of the mega ships had delays over one day.
  • In Asia, Qingdao Port in China closed for nearly a day due to dense fog. It delayed 42 vessels and caused some to wait outside the port for up to two days.

March 2013 Issue Highlights

This month, we focused on delays covering trans-Pacific trade lanes. We analyzed vessel activities at ports in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico between mid-January and mid-February and found delays throughout North America.

  • U.S. Delays - In the U.S., we found the East Coast to have greater delays than at the West Coast ports, with over 40% of vessels being delayed over a day in New York and New Jersey and in Norfolk.
  • Canada Delays - At Canada's Port of Halifax, our findings reveal that over 70% of vessels were delayed over one day due to stormy and windy weather.
  • Mexico Port Congestion - In Mexico, we identified port congestion around the ports of Manzanillo and Veracruz, where nearly 30% of vessels waited six hours or more outside the ports before berthing.
  • Thailand Strike - We found delays in Thailand as seven vessels waited for a day-long port strike to end. We share insight to the vessel activities around the time of the strike.

February 2013 Issue Highlights

  • Chinese New Year Effect: Each year, we expect to see port congestion and delays as shippers rush to ship goods through China before the holiday. This year, our findings reveal that 24% of vessel arrivals at the four major China ports were over 24 hours late in the weeks leading up to the holiday. We found that we began January with an upsurge of delays and congestion that eased as the month progressed.
  • Winter Weather Delays: Winter weather can impact your supply chain. In January, gale-force winds passed through the English Channel causing vessels to reduce speed, wander, and change paths. Learn about the delay findings in Europe due to the powerful winds.
  • Africa Port Vessel Delays: In January, 46% of vessel arrivals in Africa were delayed over 24 hours. We offer insight about the delays at five of the top ports in Africa.

January 2013 Issue Highlights

  • 3 Key Reasons Drive Vessel Arrival Delays: During December’s monitoring, CargoSmart's Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) has identified three reasons for vessel arrival delays in the Intra-Asia and Asia-Europe trade lanes as well as in South Africa.
  • Trans-Atlantic Trade Delays: We provide analysis of the delays on the Trans-Atlantic trade lane to gauge the impact that the potential U.S. East Coast strike might have had and may yet still have after February 6.
  • Visibility Blog: Share and discuss your shipment delay experiences and opinions with other shipment parties at visibility.cargosmart.com/blog.

December 2012 Issue Highlights

  • Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Strike: CargoSmart's Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) has been monitoring vessel activity on the US West Coast. We share our team's analysis from AIS live vessel updates and carriers’ latest sailing schedules.
  • Vessel Delays after Hurricane Sandy: Vessel Delays after Hurricane Sandy: In the month following Hurricane Sandy, we found 74% of the vessels were delayed and delays are still occurring at four US East Coast ports. We share delay figures and reasons for the ongoing delays.
  • Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC): We spoke with the center's manager to share information about how the center identifies shipment exceptions.

Premier November 2012 Issue Highlights

  • Eye on the Storm: After Hurricane Sandy on October 29, the Port of New York and New Jersey closed. Over 40,000 import containers are being diverted. Discover CargoSmart’s analysis of the vessel activity on the East Coast.
  • Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC): Alex Ng manages the complex vessel monitoring and analysis that takes place at CargoSmart’s GVVMC. Alex provides background on the center and its role providing the data and analysis for Innovating.
  • The Captain’s View: CargoSmart’s Senior Marine Operations and Fleet Management Advisor, Captain L C Chan, shares insight about the safety, speed, and ETA decisions made onboard one vessel at sea during the hurricane.