Shipping delays are always frustrating. They can disrupt your supply chain and lead to high operating costs, fines, and, worst of all, disappointed customers.
Cargo shipping delays are very often beyond your control. But you can control some variables to give your shipment the best chance of being shipped on time.
Read on to understand the leading causes of shipping delays and how to avoid them whenever possible.
The leading causes and reasons for shipping delays
Here are the main reasons for shipping delays:
- Incorrect documentation
- Peak season
- No additional equipment
- Global events
- Sudden changes in consumer habits
- Port congestions
- Freight transportation issues
- Meteorological conditions
Let’s explore each one in detail and how you can get it right!
Lack of proper documentation can cause delays throughout the shipping process, from leaving the port of departure to clearing customs to arrive at the destination.
Documentation is a hassle, but it’s one area where attention to detail can prevent delays:
- Ensure all your documents are in order, up to date, and legible.
- Create and follow a checklist of all required documents before shipping.
- Work with trusted partners to avoid mistakes.
Peak seasons are times when your shipment may be delayed during the high season due to large volumes.
This is a classic example of high demand and low supply putting pressure on the supply chain and logistics network.
To avoid delays during the peak season, many importers and exporters break their goods into smaller batches and ship them in advance.
No additional equipment
The resource-intensive process is one of the main reasons for shipping delays and high operating costs.
Work with your freight forwarder to avoid unexpected delays and plan for additional equipment to process your shipment. Use proven trucking services and obtain all permits in advance so your cargo can move immediately after unloading.
Sometimes things just happen. And when they do, they affect international shipping.
Unexpected events often have catastrophic consequences for the supply chain and the shipping industry.
Sudden changes in consumer habits
Any change in global consumer habits immediately impacts the shipping industry.
For example, over the past two years, consumer preferences worldwide have shifted toward online shopping and e-commerce. This has led to higher-than-ever cross-border demand for products and has been a significant cause of delayed goods and vessel delays throughout the supply chain worldwide.
Due to shortages of labor, warehousing, and handling equipment, US ports faced severe congestion.
Even if cargoes arrive on time, ships wait longer than usual before finally unloading the cargo.
The best way to get around this uncertainty is to build buffer time into your shipping plan and ship to less congested ports.
Freight transportation issues
Delays in loading trucks or containers are a headache for shippers and freight forwarders. The lack of chassis (carrying equipment used by trucks) further complicates truck delays.
Bad weather complicates the transportation of goods by all modes of transport. Ships and airlines often face scheduling difficulties due to reduced visibility at the coast and airports. Unpredictable weather conditions cause almost 23% of all road transport delays.
How to prevent shipping delays?
Here’s what you CAN do to prevent and manage shipping delays:
- Choose reliable suppliers.
- Ensure consistency between your providers.
- Make sure all documents are in order.
- Work with your freight forwarder to arrange a smooth delivery from the warehouse.
- Plan in advance for peak season.
Shipping delays may be partially avoidable, and you can mitigate their impact on your business.
PartnerTrade offers favorable conditions for shipping goods worldwide. Our managers will select the correct route, time, and transport type, so your product successfully reaches its buyer.