Christmas is a time for giving and one where the act of presenting a gift to someone has special meaning. However, in the midst of the pandemic and Brexit, suppliers in the UK and globally are up against significant supply chain issues. These sit across the board, being less restricted to specific industries and instead of applying to those who seek products internationally. While these issues may cause delays and disruption to your normal festive schedule, it’s important to implement processes to manage the impact they have on your business.
What Is Causing Current Supply Chain Issues?
The supply chain issue isn’t born from a single complication, which makes it more challenging to solve. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role. Back in March 2021 when businesses closed their doors to prevent the spread, this set delays in place for manufacturers and suppliers. Factory closures meant that raw goods weren’t being transformed into components, a lack of employees meant less construction and no transportation drivers prevented goods from reaching their end destination. In turn, this led to large-scale raw material shortages. So, when the factories and stores did open up again, the backlog was significant.
The issues spread into sea freight too. Ports became overwhelmed with the number of ships looking to dock up once restrictions eased. Many hadn’t been updated in years, meaning they were incapable of managing this increase in foot traffic. And, don’t forget the wedge of Evergreen, the 200,000-tonne container ship that became stuck in the Suez Canal. A lack of proper infrastructure to accommodate this large vessel meant that for 6 days, one of the world’s busiest shipping waterways was inaccessible.
How Can You Manage These Issues?
Unfortunately, because many of these complications are out of our hands, there is little you can do to prevent delays. Where you can be proactive is in how you communicate with your customers. Ensure there is a clear stream of communication between you and your end customers. Promote products where stock issues aren’t as prevalent and lean into your tracking technology to try and predict when goods may arrive. Be more flexible about returns and exchanges – the goods that your customers buy may not exactly fit the bill.
And, as a key priority, begin planning for 2022 Christmas early. With the world so uncertain, it is unknown whether any of these issues will still be present. If so, place orders fast in advance, use omnichannel marketing to find the most prolific offering for your customers and strategize with crisis management in mind. Here at Radius Warehouse & Logistics, we’re on hand to support your business at all times. Get in contact here today for more advice and support.