Shipping Delays Caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic
One Year of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic
Online stores and digital merchants are now a year into dealing with shipping delays caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Merchants and vendors, like fulfillment companies, have kept day-to-day operations afloat during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Online merchants hoped the holiday “Shipageddon” lessons in supply chain management might smooth out for the new year. However, consistent changing scenarios with resources and deliveries around world continue.
In a study released, late last year, by Old Dominion Freighline they found that “shippers report increased focus on LTL carrier performance and capacity.” LTL, less-than-truckload, carriers handle the “small” packages defined as units less than 150 pounds. Alternative to LTL carriers, who specialize in units less than 150 pounds, are parcel carriers like those national brands we’ve all heard of including UPS and FedEx.
The key takeaways from the whitepaper were:
- Significant transit time delays, missed pickups and deliveries, and customer service failures have been the most serious problems for LTL shippers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with transit times often extended by one or two days, according to 70 percent of survey respondents.
- A majority of the LTL shippers surveyed saw deterioration in overall response times, problem resolution, and proactive communication from their LTL carriers.
- Shippers are dropping current LTL carriers and bringing new LTL partners on board not because they can get better pricing, but because they need better service – 62 percent said service failures led them to change LTL carriers, while others added new carriers to their core group to ensure capacity.
The Old Dominion Freightline study concluded with several observations. One key not of emphasis was placed on 3PLs or fulfillment vendors. Fulfillment companies work hard to provide complete supply-chain services to clients. Factors that interrupt supply lines are business closures, regional lockdowns and labor shortages.
How to Efficiently Manage Online Orders
Best practices to keep track of online orders include managing bulk orders, filtering orders and marking offline paid orders. Experienced sellers know the first-in, first-out rule is the golden rule but supply line interruption may prevent perfect execution.
Tracking numbers are considered mission-critical in the shipping services industry. Using a third-party vendor, fulfillment company, will help you keep track of inventory and shipping. We work to provide timely communication and updates regarding receiving, packaging and customer satisfaction.
For more information on shipping delays and online order fulfillment, during the pandemic, check our other post.