FREIGHT TRANSPORT SUPPLY CHAIN RISKS
NO FREIGHT FORWARDING PLANS TO MITIGATE TRANSPORT DELAYS
The transport of components, materials and stock can be full of potential obstructions and this needs to be carefully factored into the transport time when estimating the arrival of shipments. Traffic, bad weather, accidents and a whole set of other unforeseen circumstances can all prevent items getting to their destination on time.
Whilst these reasons for delay are often seemingly trivial and difficult to predict, many retail supply chains are so dependent on delivery at a specific time to make the booked transport that even slight changes cause severe knock ons.
Does your freight forwarder have systems in place to receive early updates on delays and back ups in place to quickly respond?
CUSTOMS DOCUMENTS, CHARGES & PROCESSES
Shipments can also be delayed whilst passing through customs. Each country often has its own specific requirements for international trade, so it’s important to understand the rules and regulations. Customs documentation provided without the correct detail or in the wrong format, risks unnecessary delays or even seizure of non-compliant shipments.
Staying on top of changes to customs requirements and completing these correctly is a vital task for the team responsible. Getting documents right first time and not having to consider changes at a border makes a huge difference when sticking to tight deadlines. An expert freight forwarder will also be able to help retailers understand and take advantage of customs warehouses. Making use of customs warehouses can provide cash flow benefits by avoiding unnecessary duty and VAT costs before goods are moved on.
Do your products often get delayed in transit at customs? What steps are your freight forwarder taking to provide correct customs documentation ahead of checks? Does your freight forwarder offer suggestions to make full use of customs warehouses?
CARRIER ISSUES NOT MITIGATED BY FREIGHT FORWARDERS
The financial health, capacity and dependability of your carriers are critical supply chain risk factors and should not be overlooked. Without them materials, components and final products would not reach their destinations and production would come to a halt.
To guard against this, businesses should take careful note of how their carriers are performing, both in their abilities and financially. A ship or train becoming temporarily out of service, or an important carrier going out of business could have dire consequences, so robust backup plans and carriers should be considered ahead of time.
Does your freight forwarder have contingency plans in place to mitigate carrier risks in your retail supply chain?
DAMAGE AND THEFT OF PRODUCTS IN TRANSIT
Cargo theft has risen dramatically over the past few years and presents a significant retail supply chain risk. With such large volumes of product being moved and the relative lack of vehicle security, the potential profits make cargo a highly appealing target for thieves. Whether a shipment is at a port, a warehouse or a truck stop along the way, it is vulnerable to both opportunistic and organised theft.
Items can also be damaged whilst being transported. Improper handling, incorrect storage and accidents along the way can leave products unfit for sale. The loss of a single container of products can have a financial impact on a business, so it’s essential to ensure carriers employ solid security measures and correct handling of products.
What steps are your freight forwarder taking to keep your cargo safe and in perfect condition during transit?