How to Reduce the Pandemic’s Impact to Shipping Goods
It’s no longer a secret just how the pandemic has disrupted several industries that depend on shipping. It’s been more than half a year since the global health crisis raged on and experts are saying we’d have to deal with this until 2021 since cures and vaccines are still being studied.
While it’s definitely not business as usual for a lot of sectors, an ongoing pandemic doesn’t mean we have to completely stop operations. To ensure that we can still thrive despite the rollercoaster of a market nowadays, check out these tips on how to reduce COVID-19’s impact to shipping goods.
Determine Specific Problems to Solve
Whether you have a dropshipping business or you’re an online seller with a variety of goods supposedly being shipped out during these times, we have to acknowledge that you may be encountering several different problems when it comes to shipping during these times. Here are just some of them:
- Shipping Delays
Shipping delays are actually a result of several other factors like the ones listed below. So while this is the most common problem that suppliers, distributors, and even customers have, this is the easiest one to solve if you can determine the root cause of this issue.
- Crew challenges and Repatriation
A shortage of crew members and their subsequent repatriation may be causing a delay in shipping services. With countries calling back their seafarers, who will man the ships? A skeleton workforce can only do so much and it’s most likely the reason why bigger cargo ships can’t operate during this time, hence a delay in shipping.
- Action Plan on Contamination
Aside from thinking about day to day operations, shipping companies now have to address the possible COVID-19 outbreak inside the ships itself. Remember the Diamond Cruise line that held thousands and thousands of people who suddenly became infected? Yeah. That’s an issue we all want to avoid even in cargo ships. So shipping companies have to learn how to mitigate such risks and isolate effectively once a case has been detected to reduce delay or halting operations.
- Port Congestion and Lockdowns
Countries have different travel restrictions due to the pandemic. While others have already opened their ports, this means that congestion is highly likely. With this in mind, it will once again take more time to go through all customs checks which are pretty much beefed up nowadays, which tend to cause delays.
- Supply Chain Shortages
China, as the center of the pandemic in Asia and the United States in the West are two of the biggest suppliers of goods in the entire world. With both countries being greatly impacted by the health crisis, factory work and other manufacturing services have been severely affected. Thus causing a lack of supply in basic products and even some raw materials.
- Insurance Implications
With such an unprecedented turn of events, most likely, insurance companies do not cover issues that arise from the global pandemic. This means more money must be shelled out from your own pockets to deal with health and safety concerns.
- Customer Dissatisfaction
Generally speaking, all these issues above which cause shipping delay, in turn causes your customers to become unsatisfied with your business. And no entrepreneur wants that. Although customers should be aware that this is simply an extraordinary time and everyone is still adjusting, that doesn’t mean they might switch to another company who can provide their needs much quicker.
Solutions and Possible Workarounds
- Look for other suppliers
China may be the world’s biggest supplier of goods, but you don’t really need to deal with them especially if your country won’t accept such goods. There are a lot of other places where you can source goods even within Asia itself.
- Look for a better shipping company
As someone with an online business, you can’t really deal with the other issues like lockdowns and crew challenges. So as a workaround, you must find a trusted shipping company that can do that work for you. You don’t need to stick to your existing shipping line especially if they can’t really keep up with the times.
- Get an ERP System
While you can’t fix shipping problems on the distributor end, what you can do is to streamline all your processes to make sure that you can send out shipping requests as fast as your customer needs it to be. And a good ERP system will help solve that issue. If you have one like the JD Edwards Software, not only will you make your operations more efficient, you will also make sure that your customers are satisfied with your services.
Reducing the impact of the pandemic on your business is a neat and necessary skill in order to keep your business alive. By knowing what it takes to deal with problems arising from uncertain times means you’ll be more equipped to whatever challenges may come your way in the future.
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