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Shipping Delays: Common Causes and How to Avoid Them

April 26, 2022 by FreightCenter
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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 the 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 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. Your shipment may pass through a region affected by bad weather conditions, from hurricanes to winter storms.
  • 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 also frustrating for the truck driver since they are dropping off and picking up cargo for various shippers and work hard to deliver your freight on time.
  • Carriers continue to work hard to keep shelves stocked for Americans. 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. 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 shop online from their favorite small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses. That means more companies are shipping their goods in larger quantities to their customers. More demand means fewer available trucks, which also means 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 winter, 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. You and your freight agent can work together to decide if expedited shipping is correct, additional accessorials your freight may need, the suitable carrier to move your cargo, the best rates, and give you tools to track your shipment. While the 3PL doesn’t move or handle the freight, they can help with 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 the weather where your shipment could pass through, and ask your 3PL to help you decide if you need to add 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 your products need, and how time-sensitive your shipments are.

Give Shipping Delays the Boot

Make your New Year’s resolution work with a 3PL who can help you ship more innovatively and efficiently. Work with a 3PL who understands the ins and outs of the freight shipping industry. From expedited shipping to various accessorials, FreightCenter is the 3PL partner who can connect you to the affordable shipping rates you need and the suitable 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!

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