What causes shipping delays and How to deal with shipping delays?

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We’ve all been there – you’ve ordered something online, eagerly awaiting its arrival, only to be disappointed by a shipping delay. But have you ever wondered why your shipment is delayed? Many factors can contribute to delays in shipping, from bad weather to a shortage of available trucks. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of shipping delays and offer some tips on how to deal with them. Read on to find out.

Delay in delivery means failure to make delivery (or partial delivery) on time, provided that such failure is not due to any act or omission on the part of the Buyer and that the Supplier is not entitled to relief in accordance with the rules in section 13 on force majeure.

Shipping delays occur when goods or packages fail to arrive within the expected time frame, typically due to factors such as logistical issues, bad weather and travel restrictions. These delays can cause problems for customers and businesses alike, resulting in dissatisfied customers and an inability for companies to meet their targets.

It is important for both retail and shipping companies to understand the potential causes of these types of delays. By monitoring these situations, proactive measures can be taken in order to minimize or avoid any adjustments that may arise from prolonged shipments.

The state of shipping delays in 2022

The increasing complexities in international trade due to the pandemic has significantly impacted global shipping in 2022.

E-commerce companies, merchants, and consumers are all severely affected by long-awaited delays and a hampered supply chain. Governments are continuing to pass regulations that both slow down shipments and more critically limit the risk of disease transmission.

While the situation is improving in some parts of the world, a full recovery may be years away as new COVID variants continue to emerge.

This has unfortunately translated to unpredictable transit times, backlogged orders, unexpected costs, and ever-changing rules for shipments throughout various countries and regions.

This is why it’s important for buyers and sellers alike to stay informed on current practices in order to best prepare their businesses as we move into the future.

8 common causes of late delivery in 2022

International shipping delays can occur for a variety of reasons.

Global emergencies

Worldwide events such as pandemics, wars, and other emergencies have a noticeable-impact on the international shipping landscape. For example:

  • In 2020 we saw the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic which caused an incredibly unpredictable delays for concerns related to health and safety.

  • Wars mean that certain areas become impossible to ship through in cases where transportation needs to be suspended due to conflict.

  • Other emergencies such as natural disasters have been known to delay shipments due to the resultant changes in infrastructure caused by the event.

Unfortunately, merchants can neither control nor foresee global emergencies such as these, which make the resulting supply chain delays particularly difficult to mitigate. 

Supply chain disruption

Supply chain disruptions can be a major cause of international shipping delays.

Supply chains are integrated systems of ports, ships, warehouses and other infrastructure that allow goods to be processed and delivered with ease. When these components of the supply chain are disrupted, the whole system is thrown into disarray – resulting in increased wait times and delays.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes or unexpected events such as pandemics can easily disrupt the flow of goods from one location to another.

Restrictions in place related to quarantine periods, customs processing or safety regulations must also be considered when looking at potential causes for international shipping delays.

Weather conditions

Weather conditions can play a huge role in international shipping delays.

Weather is an uncontrollable factor that can cause massive delays or cancelled shipments which can be incredibly costly to a business.

Weather events such as storms, hurricanes, and high winds can cause significant disruptions to port activities, as ships must dock before cargo can be loaded or unloaded.

Additionally, because of how unpredictable weather can be, it’s difficult for ports to plan accordingly, creating long delays due to inefficient system operations.

Furthermore, weather events such as snow storms may lead to roads closing which could significantly extend the time frame of a shipment’s arrival.

As shipping technology continues to improve the process for receiving goods internationally becomes easier, but at the end of the day Mother Nature still plays a role albeit an unpredictable one.

Overloaded ports

When ports don’t have enough resources to handle a large influx of cargos within a short time period they become backed up and backlogged, meaning that ships with intended items must wait before being unloaded.

Overloaded ports are one of the main causes of international shipping delays. When too much cargo is trying to enter a port at once, everything comes to a halt.

This can cause further stress and increased delivery times for goods as they wait in lengthy queues just to enter or leave a port.

Overloaded ports are often caused by lack of operational resources, processes, space and equipment within the port. Overcrowded ports can also result from increased seasonal traffic, incorrect paperwork, faulty packaging and bad weather.

All of these factors combine to lead to monumental delays when it comes to cross-border shipments and the movement of vital goods around the globe.

Customs clearance processes

In particular, the customs entry process can cause serious hold ups – especially when there are errors or omissions in documentation or incorrect information is supplied.

Customs must examine each package and ensure that all of the items have the proper documentation and fees paid.

Customs may also hold packages in order to do further inspections or because extra documents are required.

If a certain item is prohibited from being imported into the country, Customs will not allow it in and delay delivery even further.

Customs regulations for each individual country create additional hurdles for both countries to overcome in order for shipments to be successful and on-time.

It’s important for shippers to work together with Customs officials to figure out solutions whenever complications arise during Customs clearance processes.

National and international holidays

National and international holidays can cause significant delays in the shipping process.

Holidays like Christmas or Independence Day, which are celebrated on a global scale, mean that postal services have an expanded workload as shipping surges.

Similarly, certain destinations may also have their own national holidays that affect shipment times for goods entering their country.

On these days, port congestion is much higher than usual and customs officials may not be working at full capacity which all lead to longer processing times than normal.

Careful planning ahead of time can help to minimize delays caused by national and international holidays, but it’s something all ecommerce businesses must take into account when budgeting for international shipping timelines.

Labor issues

Labor issues are one major cause of international shipping delays.

Labor strikes, lack of personnel, and restrictions on industrial activities have all been known to impede the progress of goods around the world.

Labor shortages also present an obstacle to on-time delivery as qualified personnel may not be available to ensure cargo is inspected and shipped efficiently. Inefficient labor organizations can further exacerbate the problem.

Overworked crews, untrained workers, or chaotic systems have been proven to lead to slowdowns in shipping times, thus costing companies time and money while their goods remain in transit.

Labor challenges such as these take a toll on any industry that relies heavily on international shipments and must be taken seriously.

Incorrect shipping data

Incorrect shipping data is one of the most common causes of international shipping delays.

When a customer inputs inaccurate or inconsistent information – such as their address or parcel size – it can result in unnecessary problems that slow down the shipping process.

Incorrect data can also cause misdirection, resulting in your package being sent to a completely incorrect address or even lost completely.

To avoid these issues, customers must take special care when providing their data, double-checking everything for accuracy. This way, they can help ensure their parcel reaches its destination quickly and safely.

The impact of shipping issues (on everyone)

No matter the reason shipping delays can affect your e-commerce business enormously.

Shipping issues can have an impact on everyone involved, including shipment companies, wholesalers, and customers.

Late delivery times caused by shipment delays can cause serious disruptions in the shipment process, reducing customer satisfaction and causing headaches for the delivery company.

These problems are typically costly; shipment companies often face losses related to fines for late deliveries as well as increased customer service costs from complaints about late deliveries.

Ultimately, shipment delays can make it difficult for everyone in the delivery process to do their job efficiently and effectively.

How delays frustrate customers?

Delays can be immensely frustrating for customers, particularly when they involve courier services. It’s often unclear who is responsible or what can be done to get the package moving again.

Delays can also cause delays in other areas, further compounding the issue. Customers need courier services to trust that their packages will arrive in a timely and efficient manner; when this isn’t the case it can lead to anxiety, anger, and a feeling of helplessness.

This can ultimately damage relationships between courier service providers and their customers as trust has been compromised.

To avoid this issue companies must prioritize communicating clearly and accurately about expected delivery times so customers know exactly what to expect instead of crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

How shipping issues damage retailers?

Shipping issues are a major problem faced by retailers all across the globe.

Companies that have been relying on courier companies to transport their goods often encounter delays and other problems when it comes to deliveries, which can severely damage their reputation due to customer dissatisfaction.

Delayed deliveries tend to result in a lack of trust between customers and retailers, as customers feel they can’t rely on these companies when it comes to timely delivery of their products.

Shipping issues also cause problems in terms of costs, as courier companies may charge for waiting times or extra delivery trips.

Ultimately, shipping matters are of utmost importance for retailers, and any issue with shipments can directly hit a company’s bottom line.

How important timely delivery for freight forwarder?

Timely delivery is one of the most critical aspects in the shipping industry.

Businesses look to freight forwarders to deliver their goods and products on time, reliably and economically.

A minor delay in shipments due to negligence or miscalculation can be potentially devastating – slowing down production lines and disrupting supply chains significantly.

Therefore, freight forwarders must have good planning and scheduling techniques, hiring well-trained staff, sourcing reliable transport logistics services and having accurate data about delivery times so that they are able to provide on-time delivery for their customers.

This not only increases customer satisfaction but will also attract more business from potential clients with promises of punctuality.

How to manage shipping delays and ensure timely delivery as much as possible?

With serious shipping delays on the rise and customers expecting timely deliveries, which impacts ranging from lost trust to increased operational costs and time. Therefore, it is important to consider ways of managing shipping delays to ensure timely delivery as much as possible.

One of the most effective ways to manage shipping delays is by having multiple transportation companies on standby. Having additional transportation providers can provide a much needed back-up plan if there are any serious setbacks.

It is also vital that businesses monitor their supplies in order to determine local stock availability, resulting in more accurate estimates when promising delivery dates.

By properly managing shipments and having all parties involved aware of delays, it’s possible for businesses to still meet customer deadlines even during serious setbacks.

Offer free shipping where possible (to mitigate trust damage)

One approach that can be taken is offering free shipping where possible; this helps mitigate the damage done to customer trust if inevitable delays arise.

Offerings such as next-day or two-day delivery can also be used; this creates additional customer satisfaction by providing an assurance of getting their goods quickly.

Finally, businesses should also use reliable carriers who guarantee or at least prioritize timely deliveries – even if full refunds promised after processional snafus cannot be avoided.

Communicate often and clearly with suppliers and customers

To ensure timely delivery of goods as much as possible, it is key to stay on top of communication with suppliers and customers.

Communicating regularly will make any delays more visible, help set realistic expectations for when items can be shipped out and keep both parties informed about the efforts being done to overcome them.

It’s important to identify the source of any delays, let customers know ahead of time that some orders may take longer than usual and proactively work with your suppliers to find ways to prevent them from happening in the future.

Although frustrating at times, delays will inevitably happen; proper communication is the foundation of minimizing disruption and delivering goods on time.

Provide shipment trackers

Managing delayed shipments is an important part of avoiding late delivery.

To ensure as much predictability and convenience for customers as possible, businesses should provide shipment trackers on their website or social media account.

These can be detailed to include the package’s progress along its route, with specific stops and estimated times of arrivals. Shipment trackers allow customers to know if a package will arrive on time, enabling them to make adjustments for any delays quickly and easily.

They also provide customer service support teams with valuable information to assist in any enquiries made.

Compensate with refunds, vouchers, and cashback

Introducing a compensation policy is also key to managing delays.

Compensating customers with refunds, vouchers and cashback is essential in maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction in the event that a delay occurs, express your appreciation and commitment during times of extended waiting periods.

Offer local pick-up options

Offer customers the option of local pick-up whenever available: not only does this give them more control over the delivery timeline, but it also eliminates delays caused by long transit times with shipping carriers.

Offer an expedited shipping option for customers who need items quickly and make sure that warehouses or fulfillment centers are well-stocked and have adequate staff.

When businesses take initiative in managing shipping delays, they empower their customers with better shopping experiences and more reliable deliveries.

Monitor your entire supply chain, regularly

One of those steps is to monitor your entire supply chain on a regular basis, which can include active tracking of packages and any unexpected changes in schedules by suppliers.

Regular checks are also essential to make sure that you’re stocked up with adequate inventory, while ensuring efficient distribution processes among delivery centers.

Organizations should also stay informed on upcoming holidays or scheduled closures so they know when to plan ahead in order to keep their business operations running smoothly.

Taking these measures can help organizations manage shipping delays and provide customers with the best possible experience.

Mitigate fulfillment issues with Honourocean Shipping

Customers rely on fast and accurate shipping for a positive buying experience, so it is important that companies like Honourocean Shipping make sure their order fulfillment process is efficient.

By streamlining their process from when the order is received through delivery, Honourocean can reduce any wasted time or resources spent waiting or working around order issues.

Utilizing modern analytics to track orders, monitoring how long processes take, and carefully planning ahead with staffing are all ways we could help mitigate any problems with fulfillment – providing customers with the timely service they want at a reasonable cost.

Shipping delays FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about shipping delays.

What shipping delays can l expect in 2023?

According to Honourocean’s data on leading carriers, shipping performance is improving with average days in transit seeing a downward trend, which is likely to lessen shipping delaysin 2023. However, because it is impossible to predict certain factors that can delay shipments (such as global emergencies or weather anomalies), some delays areimpossible to foresee.

How do you explain shipping delays to customers?

  • Don’t Make Excuses.

  • Be Honest and forthcoming.

  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

  • Apologize.

  • Offer potential solutions.

  • Follow up once the problem is resolved.

  • Thank the customer for their patience.

What do you say rather than sorry for the delay?

Instead of saying, “Sorry for the delay,” try “Thank you for your patience.”

What are the four pillars of shipping regulations?

The four pillars of IMO are the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

Why are shipping costs so high 2022?

The primary reason for this increase is the world’s nemesis: COVID-19. The pandemic has destroyed the global supply chain since 2020. And the recent rise in shipping prices is a direct reflection of that.

Will shipping prices go down in 2023?

Sea, air, and trucking models all predict dropping volumes, say lower shipping costs could make some goods more affordable. Freight rates on sea, air, and highway routes are on track to drop from their pandemic highpoints during 2023.

What are the most congested ports in the world?

The most congested portsin the world include the Shanghai Port, Singapore Port, Port of Busan, Shenzhen Port, Port of Guangzhou, Port of Hong Kong, Port of Ningbo, and Port of Qingdao. However, it appears that the supply chain and shipping crisis has improved in the past two years, with ports becoming less congested and shipping rates coming down.

ls there a shipping crisis right now? Why?

The pandemic resulted in a major shipping crisis that has lasted for a couple of years.However, things are starting to calm down since the onset of the pandemic, and the shipping industry will hopefully recover in 2023.

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