Ordered today. Delivered today. Amazon now even offers same-day delivery for packages. However, how can they be sure that there won’t be any delivery delays? The internet giant Amazon has multiple logistics centres at which the goods are stored. This makes same-day delivery possible. This service is, of course, only available in large cities and not in more rural areas.
More and more people want faster delivery times. Ideally, they want the goods to arrive today and not tomorrow. But how can companies ensure that there are no delays in their costumers‘ orders? In particular in sea freight delayed deliveries are often difficult to predict. You can use these tips to prevent sea freight delivery delays.
1. Always maintain an overview of the container
Studies have shown that almost every second industrial company experiences difficulties with disruptions and errors in the supply chain. Delays occur time and again, in particular at interfaces in the logistics network, such as to external partners or between different departments, for example transport and storage.
Supply chain management plays a major role in preventing problems with sea freight delivery. Companies such as Ocean Insights are working to develop smart solutions for representing the supply chain. By consolidating reliable sea freight data, accurate forecasts of the delivery time can be made.
Thanks to data analytics and big data, it is now possible to make fairly accurate forecasts regarding the delivery of sea freight. You can also maintain an overview of the current status of the delivery, as well as the current location, with tracking and tracing functions. This makes day-to-day operations easier and strategic decisions can be made based on data, which leads to fewer sea freight delivery delays.
2. Take seasonal challenges, such as Chinese New Year, into account
Extreme fluctuations in demand lead to delays every year. Seasonality affects virtually every industry: Something that hardly anyone needs in the spring might sell really well over the winter and vice versa. Seasonal weddings vary depending on the temperatures and on public holidays, such as Christmas.
An event that causes sea freight delivery delays particularly often is Chinese New Year. This is not celebrated on 1st January but is based on the lunar calendar and lasts for around 15 days. Most companies and factories in China are closed during this period. As a result, the volume of sea freight usually increases sharply before this and there is more container traffic at the ports. It is therefore essential to plan ahead and place orders in good time.
3. If all else fails: Make sure you have a Plan B
Container ships have changed the way in which we transport goods around the world. Sea freight has clear advantages as a mode of transport: Sea freight is usually the most cost-effective option, especially with large quantities and long distances. On the other hand, the transport times are long and are more often associated with delays. The longer the transport route, the greater the fluctuations in the schedules.
Therefore, it is always good to have a Plan B and to choose other modes of transport for certain goods, such as transport by lorry, which is very flexible and is suitable for shorter distances in particular. Another option is air freight. Although this is more expensive, it is faster than sea transport and, thanks to flight plans which are adhered to meticulously, it is reliable and less susceptible to natural events than sea freight.
In summary, it is clear that several factors need to be taken into account with regard to sea freight in order to prevent delays. This may include optimising the supply chain or planning seasonal weddings. Suppliers and manufacturers should be aware of exactly what is important to them as importers and be prepared for as many eventualities as possible in order to prevent sea freight delivery delays.
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SHIPSTA powers smart logistics procurement with a digital platform that connects shippers and carriers to ensure a frictionless procurement process for spot and contract buying, entirely online. It automates complex tasks, provides unrivalled visibility and supports fast data-driven decision-making. Designed and built by experts in logistics procurement, it is bringing transparency, automation and efficiency to the global logistics industry. It is used by some of the world’s largest companies to respond to market volatility, control freight costs and manage risk. The company was founded in 2015 and is based in Mertert, Luxembourg and Hamburg, Germany.