- Global pandemic causing severe disruptions in supply chain…
- Crisis unlikely to abate “until 2022, or beyond…”
- “More than once, we’ve had a customer go to bed only to wake up the next morning to learn we’ve solved the problem…”
Global logistics has never been easy, but the global pandemic has made efficient, reliable, affordable international shipping all the more difficult. For many shippers, that’s created a perfect storm of border delays, shortages for labor and container ships, port congestion, and skyrocketing costs.
Add it all up and you get severe supply chain disruptions.
Add to that the ongoing obstacles posed by violent weather, fuel prices, environmental standards, changing technology, government regulations, and a shifting global economy, and the challenges multiply.
“The shipping crisis began in summer 2020,” Steve Lamar, president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association told a Congressional committee. Now, “instead of getting better, the shipping crisis has only gotten worse – leaving critical industries without key inputs, creating substantial delays that threaten to leave store shelves empty, and imposing significant new costs on companies.”
Experts told Logistics Management.com that the crisis is unlikely to abate “until 2022, or beyond,” with supply chains buffeted by:
- A lack of empty containers and labor shortages at ports caused by surging cases of COVID
- Carriers charging shippers 4-5 times contract rates
- insufficient capacity at ports to handle ever-larger ships
- Lack of air cargo capacity
- Unreasonable and arbitrary fees throughout the shipping process.
To weather this perfect storm, there’s no substitute for the advice and counsel of a freight forwarding company with a proven record in international shipping.
Chris Cser, vice-president of ICAT Logistics Detroit, said firsthand experience is at the core of the company’s quarter-centuryof success as a provider of international shipping solutions.Known for industry expertise, ICAT Logistics Detroit offers a professional operations leadership team with more than six decades of collective industry experience.
Working with a global network of contacts and suppliers, the ICAT team specializes in custom shipping to meet deadlines and budgets. They know where the bottlenecks are and how their clients can avoid them.
“It’s always a delicate balance of deadlines, processes, people, communications, and cost,” said Cser. “Teamwork, planning, and time-tested know-how are tools we use to solve problems creatively.
Time and time again, members of the ICAT team devised cost-saving workarounds for customers to avoid delays, to make the most of packaging and warehousing, and to take advantage of pricing and alternative shipping options.
Key issues that ICAT helps its customers solve include:
Documentation: Crossing borders in the age of Covid is more challenging than ever before. Ensuring proper documentation— such as commercial invoices, export packing lists, and bills of lading–will avoid unnecessary delays.
Warehousing: Disruptions to just-in-time production schedules may warrant short-term storage. ICAT can arrange that on plant premises with mobile storage or at a warehouse.
Packing: With customers demanding that some shipments be held temporarily, shippers need durable packaging for their goods that can withstand challenging environments for extended periods of time.
Anticipating where the challenges may occur is half the battle. The other half is doing something about them.
“We know the options to save time and money,” said Cser. “We stay alert to opportunities. More than once, we’ve had a customer go to bed only to wake up the next morning to learn we’ve solved the problem.”
ICAT Logistics DTW is your custom shipping resource for global freight shipping. We have more than 25 years of international shipping experience.