Learn More About Factors that Can Impact Your Shipping Times

shipping delays external causes
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Sometimes, forces beyond our control can disrupt carefully laid plans, especially when it comes to shipping services. Weather, foreign politics, port congestion, international holidays, and other external factors can affect shipping times for merchandise traveling all over the world. Many of these forces can be hard to predict due to their nature. At Promptus LLC, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the situations and what may cause them, so you can account for various setbacks when coordinating shipping services.

How to Deal With Unexpected Cargo Delays

Shipping delays are generally not part of the plan; on the contrary, getting your cargo to its destination safely and quickly is the goal with most companies. Unfortunately, however, certain factors can affect the carrier’s ability to meet its deadline. Remember, even the most carefully laid out plan can be disrupted, so staying educated can help you decide what to do in the event of an external shipping setback.

Certain situations like port congestion or unexpected weather emergencies can be impossible to anticipate, but working with a licensed US customs broker and a knowledgeable freight forwarder can help you find solutions to all your shipping concerns.

Weather Delays

Meteorologists work carefully to study the atmosphere and weather patterns around the world to anticipate potential storms or other climate changes that may affect people in the area. If you are planning shipping services using containerships or airplanes, being aware of potential weather disruptions can help you plan your carrier’s route.

Hurricanes, snowstorms, flash flooding, and similar natural disasters can often make roads hard to navigate or oceans and skies dangerous. Our goal would be to help you understand when these risks are highest in certain areas and how to plan a shipment when heavy rains, winds, and other weather complications arise.

Port Congestion

A port of entry can be either an airport or a seaport, depending on the mode of transport you are using. If you are shipping across a long distance or using intermodal transportation, your goods may call more than one port during its trip. However, with billions of tons of cargo traveling across the world every day, your carrier is probably not the only shipping company bringing their goods through the port.

Congestion is, unfortunately, a common issue that can lead to shipping delays, and is often hard to predict if you aren’t a seasoned freight forwarder. Several things can cause port congestion, including equipment shortage, inclement weather, customs delays, and spikes in demand (especially during the holidays).

Customs Inspections

Customs agencies in the US or any other country in the world reserve the right to inspect any international shipment coming into the country at any point in time.

While correctly and thoroughly filling out the accompanying paperwork can often help streamline Customs inspections, it is not a guarantee that your cargo will not be selected for closer examination.

Here in the US the CBP must monitor all incoming cargo imported into the United States; and they follow strict rules. For example, certain foods, animals, or hazardous materials must be handled in a certain way or may be banned entirely from entering the country. In other cases, there are requirements for the type of paperwork, packaging, labeling or marking that must be followed and were not appropriately met. Also, outgoing shipments can be subject to inspection, causing unexpected delays that sometimes stretch for days or weeks.

Instability at Origin or Destination Country

International shipping laws can vary from country to country, so it is essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations in the destination and origin countries. Some nations may be struggling with political turmoil, which could affect the tasks of the governmental agencies involved in the import or export process, others may be affected with labor shortages or strikes, terrorism, lack of financial stability, and other related issues. These issues are less unexpected, but they are impossible to control, so staying updated on current events in countries you plan to import or export goods can help you anticipate potential shipping disasters.

Need Help Navigating Shipping Setbacks?

With over 15 years of freight forwarding experience, you can count on the team at Promptus LLC to understand the inner workings of the global logistics industry. We are familiar with major ports all over the world, travel patterns, potential weather risks in certain areas, and international holidays that are notorious for slowing down shipping times. Armed with this information, we can help you plan all your import/export needs so you can help reduce shipping delays and provide excellent customer service. Contact us today at 1-877-776-6799 for your free quote!