Container shipping lines have a poor record for punctuality. Researchers claim that forty per cent of shippers are given a bill of lading within three days of submitting shipping instructions. However, results ranged from 0% to 93% across the five-month measurement period, October 2011 to February 2012, indicating that the industry is somewhat polarised in its customer service efforts.
There was a consistent success rate of 66 – 70% for freight containers leaving the port as scheduled. This suggests that delays are fairly common even before the box has been loaded on board. Researchers found that 25% of freight containers spent longer at sea than planned.