As an importer, you may know how painful it is to get your product delivered on time. Especially now that delays have become the norm, they are not going away any time soon. What are the causes for shipping delays and what you can do? You can get the answers from this article.
Causes For Shipping Delays
Is that your freight forwarder or the ocean carries should be blamed for the delays? No, it’s not their fault. Following are the main causes for recent shipping delays.
If global events get in the way of supply chains, it can have a huge impact on shipping. We have seen this in the current global pandemic. As governments around the world have put in place measures against the spread of COVID-19, the effects of shipping delays are being felt around the world, from China to the US. But some countries are relaxing their measures against COVID-19, which should ease shipping delays to some extent.
Due to the epidemic, more people choose to spend money on tangible products rather than entertainment items like tourism, which drives the demand of tangible goods to surge. Normally, if there is an increased demand for products, the ocean carriers will invest more, like hiring more staff, investing in more ships to transport more products to the importing countries and so on. However, due to the pandemic, many port workers were sick and no new workers were employed . The number of workers decreased, thus there is not enough staff to offload the products. This has led to more ships in the port waiting to be offloaded.
Due to the decreased workers, not many empty containers were being returned to the origin country . Therefore, the departure time for your product to ship is going to be delayed because of waiting for the containers.
How Can You Deal With Shipping Delays?
At present, the shipping delays will last for quite a long time. Here are some tips for dealing with them.
Don’t Blame Your Freight Forwarder
Please remember that it’s not their fault that your shipment is delayed. They also want your shipment to be picked up and delivered fast. Thus, please be patient when you work with your freight forward. Do not blindly blame them, but to timely communicate with them, understand the shipping situation, can also make your cooperation more smooth.
If you’re an experienced importer with stable customers, then I suggest that you can plan ahead, that is to say to place your next order ahead. To be specific, you need to take a look at your cash situation and figure out the demand during the lead time and your safety stock. Even though your product is delayed at present, you still need to trigger the next order because the lead time for you to get the next order is going to be very long. Make sure you have enough stock to run out over the next 3-4 months.
Build Good Relationships With Your Supplier
People like to do business with whom they like. You can invest some time to build a good relationship with your supplier which can benefit you a lot. Relationship is especially important in China. If you have a good relationship with your Chinese suppliers, they can meet your requirements and they may even give you priority in shipping.
Keep Shipment Tracking
Keeping track of the status of shipments in real time can relieve anxiety and frustration caused by shipping delays and help you better plan for the rest of your work.
The shipping delays are still serious and please keep the mentioned tips in mind to deal with them. If you have problems about how to import from China, you can contact us for help.