I don’t know about you, but the definition of the word “assumption” that has served me best over the years is Oscar Wilde’s maxim, “ When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” In an article in Container Management late last year, MSC noted: “We can only assume that container terminal congestion at the main ports of the trade will continue to worsen, leading us to anticipate and incorporate longer time buffers in the schedule, in terms of port stays and speed at sea.”
You see the problem with assumptions is that they keep our minds closed, they can stifle our ideas and blind us to our potential.
Schedule changes can wreak havoc in container shipping, whilst they may not always result in delay, they can be sure to cause headaches for all involved. In an article by JOC they shared some of the worst offenders with Antwerp having the highest average number of changes at 7.4 per shipping schedule, and Rotterdam having the highest percentage of schedule changes that were over 24 hours at 49 percent.
In December 2018 Container Management interviewed Maersk in respect of reports stating there would be fewer port calls in some locations to improve schedule reliability and enable stable and reliable cargo deliveries to its customers. Maersk were quoted as saying: “To meet our customers’ increasing need for reliable cargo delivery, we have reviewed our service network and identified additional time to recover from the potential delays we continue to face from bad weather and other external factors.”