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Home / ADvocate / Is Your Business Affected by the Shipping Crisis?

Is Your Business Affected by the Shipping Crisis?

by Faith Walls
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On a sticky day in Egypt, in March 2021, an event transpired that took this description of the humid climate all too literally. The Ever Given, a 20,000 TEU container ship became irreparably wedged in the banks of the Suez Canal, a critical point in the global trade route. This fiasco carried on for six days, costing industries $400 million each hour. As you might imagine, with each passing day, more and more ships queued up, impatiently awaiting a clear route of passage. 

Not unlike this recent international maritime debacle, industries everywhere are suffering at the expense of the global shipping crisis. Wholesale marketers and small businesses are certainly feeling the ramifications of these lengthy delays. Major retailers are also not exempt, with some larger corporations such as Home Depot and IKEA even chartering their own aircraft and cargo ships in an attempt to beat the clock. 

Unfortunately, this ecumenical situation is not as easily explained by a ship being precariously wedged in a canal. Over the course of the pandemic, rising demand and failing supply chains have commingled in an economic pressure cooker from hell. This resulted in the current dismal reality many businesses are living in today. 

What You Need to Know

From product manufacturers to on-ground delivery, just about every facet of the supply chain is coming up short. As the holiday season is breathing down the necks of retailers, there appears to be no end in sight. Not only are the tangled network of shipping vessels impeding production, but the cost to distribute inventory is skyrocketing as a result. 

Of course the last thing you want to hear amidst a crisis is “there is no solution,” but unfortunately that is the current state of affairs worldwide. These past 18 months of the pandemic have only worsened the shipping crisis, and the second affected holiday season is predicted to suffer due to the extenuating circumstances. Businesses and consumers alike may be feeling less “merry and bright” this year and more “frustrated and impatient” as shipping times extend well past the designated period of gift-giving. 

Cutting Your Losses

Small business owners should make an extra effort to warn their customers about the current shipping backups to allow for extra time for holiday present ordering. Seasonal ads and marketing should also contain a clause with specific “order by” deadlines so consumers clearly understand when they need to finish checking their lists twice. 

This global crisis is also devastating product inventory and selection. Businesses may not have all the supplies that they need to maintain their standard index. This might require a shift in promotional marketing efforts so that the more accessible products are being highlighted frequently in order to compensate.

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