It can be horribly frustrating when your shipment is late. Estimated transit time is supposed to be as precise as possible so that the parts involved know when to expect the delivery and when to arrange a pickup. However, things can go wrong, and, unfortunately, shipping delays can occur.
Customers may end up pushing you for a due date, and you end up being held responsible for the delay. Even in some situations, they may arrive with damage, faults, or incorrect parts.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of five common reasons why your shipment may be delayed.
Traffic occurs in most cities. Between construction works, accidents, detours, and roadblocks, it’s common for people to experience delays in their shipment due to traffic. To improve this, courier drivers can use route optimization software.
Route optimization software can track the fastest route possible, updating it in real-time to avoid delays and disruption.
It’s also essential to consider Peak Seasons that can hold up deliveries, such as pre Christmas or summer. If there are many shipments, deliveries may arrive later.
Delivery times may also be affected by strikes in some countries. For example, in France, the logistics sector is significantly affected by strikes, which may send out a service alert for delays.
It’s also essential to consider that the coronavirus pandemic is having a significant effect on shipments and deliveries. With companies having less capacity in terms of workers or equipment.
With international shipments, as a cargo carrier facing customs, it’s essential that all the required documents are ready and filled to prevent any problems. Without proper documentation, delays are likely. For example, the required documents may be presented incorrectly or may be missing.
Plus, issues can quickly escalate to further problems if authorities decide to inspect your cargo.
In the circumstances where shipments are held at customs, merchants should have a backup plan. This could include creating a partnership with reliable courier services that keep documents safe and accurate.
A simple yet common issue that leads to shipment delays is a lack of clarity, such as unclear handwriting. By using pen and paper in the delivery industry, mistakes and mishaps can easily occur.
Shipping labels also play a crucial part in delays. If the tags are of low quality, they can lead to issues with couriers reading or scanning them, and items can get lost.
The use of logistics management software can make lost packages a problem of the past for delivery organizations. After all, depending on the human element for shipments will always leave for unreliability.
If, as a company, your address has recently changed and you haven’t received any cargo there yet, be sure to notify any freight forwarder or provider.
Old and outdated software or antique hardware provides huge issues for delivery companies. This is because older software limits the opportunity to integrate new technologies and prevents access to features that can reduce shipment delays.
To track your shipments better, it’s a wise idea for merchants to invest in the latest hardware and cloud-based software. This delivers a more holistic approach for the whole supply chain, allowing couriers, 3PL, logistics, and transportation businesses to remain connected and use real-time data.
Carrying on from the last point, equipment shortage is another major issue that’s often overlooked by shippers. Transferring cargo from the warehouse can be challenging, and it certainly isn’t straightforward. This is especially so if you require intermodal transportation, including road and rail.
There may also be circumstances where shipping containers aren’t available. There may be short supply, or they may only be available in some regions of town. Of course, situations like these can also lead to shipment delays.
"Shippers should plan as far in advance as possible. With COVID on the map and lack of space, this season will be more unpredictable than the previous one, with rates never seen"
Klaus Lydsal, vice president of operations at iContainers