Likely you, and the majority of the other 7.8B people on Earth recently saw the unbelievable event of a ship the size of the Empire State Building block an international transport route. The 200,000-ton ship was reportedly blown sideways, wedging it across the canal for nearly a week and creating a 400-ship traffic jam. Estimates project 90 percent of everything bought in the U.S. arrives by ship, so it is easy to see how a maritime catastrophe could leave the entire global supply chain stranded out at sea.
We love when the delivery guy shows up at our door with our “2-day FREE delivery” package although we really know our price already includes all the extra costs (Aah! and then don’t forget your annual membership fee). Paying for convenience is okay on a personal level, but when you need large quantities, custom ordering and importing is the most efficient and cost-effective option. Choosing the product might be fun, but navigating the international delivery process is no easy trek, so when determining a partner for your next order here are a few well-mapped routes, or roadblocks to avoid, that are guaranteed to make your journey easier:
Backlog: While we’ve made it through the brunt of the pandemic it continues to wreak havoc on the import process, doubling normal delivery times. Last year the U.S. imported 75% less than normal, so now international suppliers are working to catch up. Ports in the U.S. are being flooded with deliveries, but a lack of workers, and an overload of containers are forcing ships full of product to anchor for weeks just offshore.
Solution: Partnering with a strong team of experts who are able to manage issues, expedite deliveries, and strategize to navigate backlog is key to a successful delivery.
Production: It is important to measure what matters, and without enforcement of material and production standards what you see may not always be what you get. So monitoring and managing what does, or doesn’t, go into the production of your products is keenly important.
Solution: Having a partner who guarantees the quality, safety and specifications of your product confirms your product will meet and exceed the expectations of both you and the recipient.
Annual Events: Mardi Gras “season” may be a few days of fun and revelry, but nothing compares to the Lunar New Year celebrations celebrated by over 60% of the Earth’s population. Entire countries go on holiday and shut down for up to a solid month. These closures bring production and delivery of goods worldwide to a screeching halt.
Solution: Having a resource who provides tracking, understands international schedules and seasonal trends will ensure your product arrives to you as scheduled – even in the middle of a worldwide party.
Freight Costs: We all feel the direct impact when gas prices go up, or preferably go down, and these same feelings are experienced throughout the world of transport.
Solution: Thankfully, working with an industry professional that can hedge fluctuations and build relationships can guarantee consistency in your transportation costs, ensuring you don’t get an unwelcomed “surprise” at the time of delivery
Tracking: These days half the fun of ordering something is always knowing exactly where it is in the delivery process. The ability to accurately track shipments in real time down to a macro-point location is one of the most important recent advances in the industry. Conversely, not having an awareness for the whereabouts of your shipment causes stress and anxiety.
Solution: Partnering with a team utilizing the best freight visibility systems puts the best of today’s tracking and reporting technology right at your fingertips. Consistent and continuous status reports, advance ship notices and real time tracking provide you end-to-end visibility and the assurance your order doesn’t veer off course.
Warehousing: For most of us, time and space are premium resources. So, with not enough space or extra time in our lives, convenient storage and just-in-time delivery can be pivotal in the success of your program.
Solution: Having a partner with multiple warehouses throughout the U.S. guarantees safe storage, in close proximity, minimizing the unforeseeable impacts of long transports or weather-related delivery concerns.
As proven recently in the Suez Canal, supply chain management is a complicated business, and even a slight drift off course can be globally catastrophic. When ordering your gift items, selections and quality are paramount but neither will make a difference if the item doesn’t arrive in time! So, don’t run the risk of ruining your reputation by not having the products you’ve promised. It’s important to choose a vendor partner who excels at navigating the global supply chain; keeps the quality, delivery and pricing of your order on track; and the savings where it belongs – right in your back pocket!
Director of Supply Chain