CargoSmart Study: Eastbound Trans-Pacific Transit Times Increased

April 30, 2019

 |  Insights

This month, we investigated transit times to find out if they have been growing longer, getting shorter, or staying the same as volumes increased in early 2019 to the US and ocean carriers tightened capacity.

To examine transit time trends, CargoSmart’s Global Vessel Voyage Monitoring Center (GVVMC) looked at the top-searched port pairs in Big Schedules in March 2019 on the Asia-Europe, Europe-Asia, trans-Pacific eastbound, and trans-Pacific westbound trade lanes. We also analyzed one trans-Pacific eastbound port pair with a transshipment port. The scope of our study for the five chosen port pairs covered 20 ocean carriers, 198 services, and over 3,000 schedules.

Identifying vessel departure and arrival times through live updates from the automatic identification system (AIS), we determined the transit times from the time a vessel departed its berth at the origin port to the time it arrived at its berth at the destination port. We then calculated the average transit time by port pair in January, February, and March in 2019 and in 2018. The monthly average transit times by port pair are shown in the two charts by year.

Average Transit Time in Q1 2019

Average Transit Time in Q1 2018

Trans-Pacific Eastbound Transit Times Were Longer in 2019 Than 2018

Overall, we found that the two Asia-Europe port pairs, Shanghai-to-Rotterdam and Hamburg-to-Shanghai, were steady from January to March and were similar in 2018 and 2019.

For the eastbound Asia-US port pairs, the direct Shanghai-to-Los Angeles route had an average transit time increase of 2 days, and the transshipment Busan-Shanghai-Oakland route had an average transit time increase of 2.5 days longer when comparing the first three months of 2019 to 2018.

The westbound Los Angeles-to-Shanghai route had a fairly steady transit time over the three months and between the two years.

This study is part of the April issue of CargoSmart’s Innovating newsletter. Download the April newsletter .

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