A mild shift in the speeds of containerships, especially on the head-hole, can be expected as new liner mega alliances endeavor to speed up their transit times, according to UK shipping consultant Drewry.
Aiming to polish up their brands, liner giants that have joined their operating pools are likely to speed up so as to attain greater performance reliability, which has spiraled down over the past few months.
The latest data from Drewry shows that the aggregate on-time performance for the Asia-Europe, Transpacific and Transatlantic trades dropped to 58% in December, down from 62% in November and 64% in October.
The gentle shift toward higher speeds is likely to be influenced by the oil price drop as well.
However, structural overcapacity will remain a barrier in how much can these speeds be accelerated since there is not enough cargo to satisfy the number of existing ships, especially having in mind their ever increasing size.
As a result, Drewry believes that despite the shift, dropping of slow steaming practice is not an option since there is not enough cargo to resort to full designer speeds.
World Maritime News Staff