Global shipping delays are becoming more and more common. This can be a huge issue for businesses that rely on timely delivery of their products to customers all over the world. There are many different causes of shipping delays, and each one can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
In this blog post, we will discuss the most common causes of shipping delay issues and what can be done to manage or avoid them in the future.
Where Global Shipping Delays Started
Shipping issues across the world have been occurring for years and don’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon. Here are some of the reasons these delays have continued to plague the market.
Lack Of Supply
When the pandemic forced businesses to shut their doors, it meant many manufacturing plants across the world had to close as well. This was especially detrimental to countries that relied heavily on China for their goods. China is the leading manufacturing producer in the entire world. Once the factories in China were shut down, the other nations had to look elsewhere for products and resources. This lack of supply caused global cargo shipping delays for products that were being produced or shipped out of certain countries.
Increase In Demand
The same pandemic that forced manufacturing plants to close their doors also forced everyone to stay inside. When people stayed inside, they turned to online shopping to give them some release from the chaos going on around them.
The industry of eCommerce as a whole grew rapidly and exponentially as more people were using online channels to buy their goods than ever before. This caused a huge increase in demand at the exact same time there was a decrease in supply.
This dangerous imbalance of supply and demand caused huge shipping delays on a global scale. People waited months for a product they could have gotten in one week before the pandemic.
A popular strategy in manufacturing is called “just-in-time” (JIT) manufacturing. This involves making products as they are being ordered instead of having products sit in a warehouse until someone buys them.
While this is a great way to save on storage costs, it can be disastrous when there are cargo shipping delays. If a manufacturer is waiting on one shipment to complete an order, and that shipment is delayed, the whole order is delayed. This strategy has led to massive delays in products but can still be beneficial in times when shipping is timely. However, it will take some restrategizing to understand how plants can save money and space while still having products available.
Multiple variants of the COVID-19 virus caused an increase in the number of people getting sick at random times throughout the year. Once the numbers of those infected started rising, ports in China and other places had to close down in order to prevent further spreading. This would ultimately lead to even more global shipping delays as ships that were ready to dock had to wait even longer or try alternate routes in order to deliver goods.
Dearth of Truckers
Even before the pandemic started, the US was suffering from a shortage of truckers in the logistics industry. Once the pandemic hit, the number of truckers dropped even more and most of them seem to not be returning. The lack of truckers is causing bigger delays for the same shipments that would have taken a fraction of the time before the pandemic.
What Companies Can Do to Manage Global Shipping Delays
The numerous reasons for global shipping delays could cause most business owners to fold under the pressure, but learning key strategies can help them keep their businesses afloat.
Here are some ways companies can ease their cargo shipping delays.
Increase Shipping Transparency
Customers are often left behind when it comes to knowing where their product is and when it will arrive. This can often lead to them getting upset and taking their business elsewhere.
By increasing cargo shipping delay transparency, businesses can let their customers know exactly where their product is and how long it will take to get to them.
There are many ways to do this but one of the most popular is using tracking information.
This can be done by sending SMS updates or giving customers access to a portal where they can see the status of their orders.
Take Advantage of Automation
The global shipping delays make it nearly impossible for owners to keep up with individual shipping orders and inventory. In order to give your customers the best service possible, you need to take advantage of automation.
There are many software programs that can automate the shipping process for you.
Using them will help to keep your business organized and running smoothly even when there are delays.
Focus on Current Inventory
Because ordering new products is being affected by global shipping delays, it’s important to focus on the inventory you already have. This can be done by promoting products that are already in stock or by running sales. Doing this will help to bring in some revenue while you wait for new shipments to arrive and won’t keep all your cash tied up in inventory you can’t move.
Promote Back-In-Stock Items
Instead of having promotions that center around the next and greatest product you have in store, try promoting products that are coming back in stock. This can be especially helpful if you have products that are in high demand but are constantly sold out.
By promoting these items, you can get customers excited about products they may have forgotten about and drive up sales. Send out emails and run some ads letting people know which items you are expecting back in stores.
Increase Cash Buffer
Because you’ll need to make large orders for your inventory well in advance due to global cargo shipping delays, it’s important to have a cash buffer. This will help to ensure that you can still make payments on time and keep your business running smoothly.
A cash buffer can also help you take advantage of sales or discounts that may come up unexpectedly. By having extra cash on hand, you’ll be able to make the most of these opportunities without putting your business at risk.
Dealing With Global Shipping Delays
Companies that are prepared and knowledgeable about global shipping delays will be able to weather the storm much better than those who are not. By following the tips above, you can keep your business running smoothly and avoid any major disruptions. Contact us today if you have any questions or need any help with your global shipping needs.