What Causes Freight Shipping Delays and How to Avoid Them?

When it comes to managing the supply chain, freight shipping delays are more than typical. Even though it is hard to forecast possible transportation hurdles, some useful practices can help you successfully avoid shipping delays.

Why do shipping delays happen?

In some cases, poor shipping planning results in delays. Other times, transit delays emerge under unpredictable circumstances. Companies can reduce the number of such events by diving into common reasons that cause shipping delays.

Documentation mistakes

Documentation errors are a very frequent setback of the freight shipping process. Make sure your paperwork is filled out correctly and doesn’t contain any typos. At the same time, try to regularly re-check all the addresses so that your cargo never goes to the wrong destination or wrong receiver. The information on your shipping documents has to be clear, sufficient, and include any specifications of your transit. Today, the shipping services can assist you with correct paperwork handling and provide the fillable forms you need. It is recommended to pay close attention to the bill of lading (BOL) – the most critical document of your shipment that involves all the pickup and delivery data.

Logistics disruptions

Shipping disruptions are a natural part of the supply chain to some degree. There are always some factors out of your control. However, focusing on delay prevention can eliminate the negative outcomes of those disruptions. First, there is always a possibility of vehicle breakdowns. They can be either caused by machinery malfunction, insufficient cargo fixation, or external factors like a difficult route and shipping to limited access locations.

Most often, delays happen due to a lack of analytics and planning. Looking into your order fulfillment process, checking your software, and automating tasks can help with preventing shipping delays.

Seasonality

The factor of seasonality mostly affects transportation deadlines during the peak season. The intense customer demand results in high traffic congestion and busy roads. As holiday shopping begins, people expect their gifts delivered prior to a certain date. All these factors can cause friction in the shipping process, increasing the chance of delays.

On the other hand, there is a problem of adverse weather conditions that can disrupt your supply chain. Shipping during the lack of visibility or dangerous hurricane season inevitably slows down all the transportation operations and sometimes requires additional stops.

How do shipping delays affect customer satisfaction?

To attract a loyal customer base, it is necessary to constantly work on reducing shipping delays. The huge variety of online marketplaces intensifies the delivery time competition among retailers. A great part of consumers prioritizes fast delivery while making purchases online. Recent polls have shown that only 21% of customers are likely to tolerate late delivery in terms of the post-pandemic situation. Thus, frequent shipping delays can seriously affect your sales and customers’ attachment to your product. Strive to be precise about your shipping schedule to strengthen your brand reputation.

How to avoid shipping delays?

Often, shipping delays block out the logistics process and negatively impact customers satisfaction. Still, there are a few ways to prevent potential disruptions and deliver your order on time.

Advanced planning

Planning is the basis of logistics time management. It is advisable to outline all the shipping operations beforehand, from preparing the items for transit to the very moment of delivery. By doing so, you’ll be able to spot some defects in your supply chain and eliminate them before launching the shipment. Additionally, advanced planning will let you book a shipment at a good price and beneficially manage your budget.

Accurate ETAs

Often, it isn’t realistic to deliver the items to remote locations within a couple of days. To avoid shipping delays, you can work on improving your inventory management. Modern inventory software allows retailers to keep an eye on their stock status without checking it manually. Stock control systems will notify you about every change in items quantity so you never detain the packages from shipping.

Another transit delays solution lies in warehousing operations. Using a storage space for keeping your goods can considerably shorten the overall transportation time. Warehouses are especially practical in cases of long-distance shipping or international shipping. If your items are located in a warehouse closer to the destination point, they can be picked up from there and delivered much faster.

Proper order fulfillment and inventory management will help you give customers accurate and realistic delivery deadlines.

Right carrier choice

To deliver your items with no delay, it is important to pick a suitable carrier. Not only will they suggest several options of transport means, but will also analyze the best possible route to take. This greatly helps to optimize the delivery time and thus reduces shipping costs. Besides, experienced drivers can better handle any unpredictable road situations. GoShip’s online platform will connect you to a huge network of reliable carriers. Use our free quote tool to find the right carrier service at the best price.

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