Coronavirus cases may be on the decline, but the virus is still impacting businesses around the globe as supply chain disruption continues. As more businesses reopen their doors, the demand for essential office supplies, equipment, and products is skyrocketing, overwhelming the suppliers and causing shipping delays that will persist into the second quarter of 2021.
This is in addition to an increased volume of freight shipments in addition to modified processing and recent restrictions that help protect carriers from the spread of the virus has caused Canadian shipping to experience extended delays.
And, as China continues to experience cargo unloading hold ups due to the virus, the rest of the world must wait on the return of empty containers before they can export their goods. In Canada, container availability is stressed, causing exports to run on delays as long as two months.
Whether you are a small- or medium-sized business or an enterprise-level operation, these delays can not only be frustrating, but they can also impact your bottom line. Lack of supplies such as ink and toner cartridges or equipment such as computers, printers, and other office equipment can contribute to costly downtime — a revenue-draining problem that can put a real dent in your profits.
Protecting Your Bottom Line from Freight Slowdowns and Shipping Delays
Overseas freight delays and trucking delays paired with cost increases are combining with high consumer demand to play havoc with inventory — causing many businesses to experience a shortage of products.
Now, if you are simply a business needing essential office products, shipping delays will impact you in a different manner.
To protect your business from loss or harm caused by slow shipping, consider these essential tips:
- Keep Communication with Customers Clear and Open
If you feel your inventory will be affected by shipping or freight delays, make sure you tell customers in advance of delays. Let them know why the delays are occurring and give them a clear estimate of when they can expect their order.
- Track Shipments
Work with shipping partners that offer real-time shipment tracking. You can share tracking numbers with your customer service team — or the customers themselves — to reduce frustration and provide more visibility.
If you don’t share tracking with customers, make sure you let them know of possible delays as soon as they show up on your tracking system.
- Consider Using Domestic Suppliers
Whether you want supplies for your own business or you are reselling them to customers, partnering with domestic suppliers offers the greatest chance of shipping success. When you buy local, your orders are filled from warehouses that are nearby, reducing dependence on overseas shipping or long-haul trucking and increasing the timeliness of deliveries.
And buying local also allows you to contribute to the health and resilience of your community by supporting neighborhood businesses. These businesses not only return money to the local economy, but they provide jobs that help keep people employed and fiscally sound.
Many Print Vendors Are Experiencing Critical Delays Delivering Print Devices
To protect your business from loss or harm caused by slow shipping, consider expediting your hardware procurement activities to meet year-end order timelines and allow enough lead time for Q2 and Q3 project hardware requirements.
First Phase Data’s print specialist team has up-to-date manufactures inventory at their fingertips from all manufacturers and distributors. Please reach out confirm timelines and availability.
Want to Buy Local? Start with First Phase Data
First Phase Data has been one of Winnipeg’s leading purveyors of office equipment and supplies since 1983. From state-of-the-art equipment and supplies to in-depth knowledge of the print and imaging industry, we pride ourselves on being able to provide full spectrum business process solutions to our clients.
But our involvement with the local community doesn’t stop there. We actively encourage our employees to volunteer in the community by partnering with local nonprofits and assisting our corporate customers with their own charitable endeavors.
Reduce your exposure to shipping delays and support your local economy. Contact First Phase Data today and discover how easy, cost-effective, and convenient it is to buy local.