My New Year’s resolution is shipping delays, said nobody ever. Shipping delays are arguably one of the most frustrating issues shippers can run into during the shipping process. From shipping during peak season to increased shipping due to COVID-19 to weather-related problems, if you have a time sensitive shipment, you need to know about shipping delays, their common causes and how to avoid them. Let’s dive in!
Types of Shipping Delays
There are many different types of shipping delays a shipper could encounter during the process. Here are some of the most common types of shipping delays:
- Weather – Even the meteorologists can’t seem to agree on what the weather could do, so sometimes weather-related shipping delays may happen. From hurricanes to winter storms, your shipment may pass through a region affected by bad weather conditions.
- Traffic – Your carrier could get stuck in traffic since freight trucks share the road with other vehicles. Freight trucks also share their capacity with other shipments when you ship LTL. Remember, high-volume traffic is frustrating for the truck driver as well since they are dropping off and picking up cargo for a variety of shippers and work hard to deliver your freight on time.
- Increased shipping demand due to COVID-19 – Essential items, such as food, medications, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and face masks are still a top supply chain priority. Carriers continue to work hard to keep shelves stocked for Americans. Additionally, the latest COVID-19 vaccines are being shipped nationwide, which could increase the need for specialized cold chain trucking equipment.
- Shipping during the holidays or peak seasons – More and more consumers are shopping online from their favorite small, medium and enterprise level businesses. That means more businesses are also shipping their goods in larger quantities to their customers. More demand means fewer available trucks which also means there is more potential for shipping delays.
How Can You Avoid These Shipping Delays?
First, it’s important to remember that all shipping and delivery dates are estimates and not guaranteed. Shipping delays are sometimes unavoidable, but there are some steps you can take to help avoid shipping delays.
- Consider choosing expedited shipping services. During peak season and into the winter months, a pro tip is to expedite your shipments, especially if they are time sensitive. This is because expedited shipments have priority over other freight shipments.
- Communicate with your customers. This always rings true no matter what you’re shipping. Being clear and transparent with your customers will help them manage their expectations about the shipping process. Should a shipping delay occur, alert your customer with a status update.
- Work with a third-party logistics provider (3PL). When you partner with a 3PL, like FreightCenter, you get access to innovative technology like a TMS and you have a dedicated freight agent to help you every step of the way. You and your freight agent can work together to decide if expedited shipping is right for you, additional accessorials your freight may need, the right carrier to move your cargo, the best rates around, and give you tools to track your shipment. While the 3PL doesn’t actually move or handle the freight, they can help when it comes to status updates and communication with the carrier.
- Stay updated on the weather. Remember, the weather in your region might be beautiful, but your freight could pass through some wild weather or fluctuating temperatures. Check on the weather where your shipment could pass through, and ask your 3PL to help you decide if you need add on services like freeze protection.
- Have a plan. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans go together and will help you stay calm and organized in the event of a disaster or any disruptions to normal business operations. Include how you will handle any potential shipping delays in your business continuity plan, such as knowing when your business’ peak season is, what equipment or packaging needs your products have and how time sensitive your shipments are.
Give Shipping Delays the Boot
Make your New Year’s resolution to work with a 3PL who can help you ship smarter and more efficiently. Work with a 3PL who understands the ins and outs of the freight shipping industry. From expedited shipping to a variety of accessorials, FreightCenter is the 3PL partner who can connect you to the affordable shipping rates you need and the right carrier for the job.
Now that you know more about shipping delays, what causes them and how to avoid them, FreightCenter can help you achieve shipping success! Get started with a free online quote or call us today at 844-212-7447!