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LONDON: A Q3 report from maritime analysts SeaIntel says global liner reliability fell nearly four points to 75.5 percent due to congestion issues that began in Hamburg and Rotterdam, spread to major U.S. ports - particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach - and by the end of the quarter included Hong Kong ad Shanghai.

The analyst notes Maersk Line remained the most reliable carrier throughout Q3 with an 83.9 percent performance level, followed by Hamburg Süd and CSAV with 79.8 percent and 75.5 percent respectively. The top three positions remained unchanged from Q2.

With all carriers in the top 20 seeing a reliability decline since the previous quarter, SeaIntel says at the other end of the table, MOL, NYK and HMM produced levels of 63.8 percent, 65.5 percent and 65.6 percent respectively.

westwood columbiaBetween Asia and North Europe Maersk Line, PIL and CSCL were the most reliable at 95.5 percent, 72.3 percent and 65.8 percent respectively as the trade lane saw the 10th consecutive quarter where Maersk has performed above 95 percent.

The analyst says CSAV, Maersk and CMA CGM were the most reliable carriers in the Asia-Mediterranean trades, while the top performers on the Pacific were some of the smaller carriers including Westwood Shipping (right), Matson and Hamburg Süd.

"We understand that the decline in the ratings is a result of the bottlenecks in the ports," commented Maersk Line head of Operations Execution Keith Svendsen.

Maersk Line's Q3 service is reflected in the latest financials from parent A.P. Møller - Mærsk that saw a one percent increase in revenue to US$12.1 billion compared to 2013; a 27 percent gain in pre-tax profit to US$2.5 billion; and a net profit increase of 25 percent to US$1.5 billion.

"Despite some caution in relation to the market outlook for the coming quarters, we maintain our outlook for the group result to be around US$4.5 billion for the year," said CEO Nils Andersen.

However a recurring non-performer for both Q3 and the nine-month period is the group's logistics unit: Damco reported a pre-tax loss of US$69 million on revenue of US$848 million for the quarter; and a loss of US$99 million on revenue of US$2.38 billion for the first nine months.

A.P. Møller - Mærsk cited a seven percent drop in ocean volumes and a 16 percent decline in airfreight compared to the same period last year and noted that "despite a one percent increase in Q3 revenue, 2014 displayed a declining and unsatisfactory gross profit development". However the company reiterated its view that "restructuring initiatives are still expected to strengthen commercial competitiveness and get Damco back to profitable growth in 2015 and onwards".

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