Shipping challenges have become status quo over the past couple of years, and there are no signs that they will end anytime soon. But with so many variables to consider, how do you know where to direct your energy for best results?
Ultimately, you want to solve problems that impact customer service and the bottom line, so it’s critical to know where to focus your energy. Knowing what shipping challenges can be solved and having the right strategies will help you save money, grow your business, improve your processes, and, most importantly, satisfy your clients.
Seven Biggest Shipping Challenges to Overcome Now
1. Loss of Merchandise
Loss can happen for many reasons, from incorrect labeling to damaged packaging to incomplete documentation. To avoid this shipping challenge, ensure your products are securely packaged and labeled correctly and accompanied by the appropriate paperwork. Investing in advanced tracking solutions helps you keep an eye on your shipments and may help you reduce loss.
2. Damaged Merchandise
If your merchandise arrives damaged, customer relations are at stake—not to mention lost revenue. To avoid this shipping challenge, take the time to crate and pack your products properly using high-quality materials. You should also consider shipping insurance to protect yourself from unavoidable damage.
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3. Hazardous Materials
Shipping hazardous materials can be challenging as you must comply with strict regulations. If you plan on shipping dangerous goods, make sure you know the rules and regulations surrounding packaging, labeling, and handling.
4. Inexperience in Import and Export Procedures
If you are shipping internationally, get familiar with the import and export procedures of the originating and destination countries. If you are new to international shipping, this can be a challenge. The regulations are sometimes complicated, and they tend to change frequently. Failure to comply could result in hefty fines and delayed shipments. To avoid this shipping challenge, do your research and understand the requirements of both countries. Alternately, an experienced 3PL like DTS World Cargo can keep you on track.
5. Multiple Destinations for the Same Freight
The more destinations you have for your freight, the more problems can occur, and planning is essential. Optimizing your routes helps you plan for variables like fuel, delivery windows, time, and other considerations and will help you reduce risk across various potential issues.
6. Problems with Harsh Environmental Conditions
Harsh environmental conditions can cause shipping delays and damage to merchandise. If you want to avoid this shipping challenge, start by researching the shipping route, so you know the potential hazards. Some examples include high heat, humidity, extreme cold, exposure to salt air, or vibrations—all of which can damage sensitive goods. A climate-controlled container can help in some circumstances, but optimizing your packaging is also a good idea.
7. Rising Transportation Costs
Transportation costs have been rising in recent years, which is expected to continue. Being aware of the trends enables you to take steps to minimize the impact on your bottom line. Shipping during the off-peak season and consolidating shipments are great strategies but working with an experienced 3PL assures you of the best value.
Working with an experienced 3PL helps reduce logistics uncertainty and focus on business growth. DTS World Cargo handles every step of your transportation and logistics. Our industry experience and exemplary track record help you mitigate risk, reduce costs, and gain consistency through every shipping process.