Many consider eCommerce the future of business, with retailers, startups, and even large-scale companies now offering goods and services online. With digitalization slowly becoming the norm, most expect the eCommerce industry to continue and surpass its initial success as time goes by.
However, despite the demand, the industry still has its fair share of critical challenges to overcome, namely shipping and logistics. If you want to know more about the eCommerce industry’s logistic difficulties, this article will cite some common shipping problems and how small businesses can cope.
5 Main Challenges Of The Shipping Industry
1. Route disruption
Several factors can influence the expected delivery timeline of goods and services to an area. These disruptions can range from natural disasters, supply chain issues, and simple mechanical failure, ultimately derailing your plans and costing you precious time and resources.
While you can’t predict when such events will happen, you can prepare for them. First, ensure that you secure a shipping partner that keeps up with regular checkups, like engine and truck tire maintenance.
Some shipping establishments overlook the importance of proper vehicle care. Failing to care for one’s vehicle can lead to mechanical disruptions that could have been easily avoidable.
In addition, securing the services of an experienced shipping logistics company that monitors local, regional, national, and worldwide events helps you formulate a contingency plan just in case the stated disruptions occur.
2. Item damage during transit
The shipping and handling of eCommerce products can be a significant concern for small businesses due to factors that could cause damage to the product. From poor packaging to poor handling, there are several ways that you could end up with damaged goods.
To mitigate item damage, ensure that your eCommerce packaging materials and methods are all up to par with industry standards. While simple, some shipping entities prioritize speed over security, leading to more significant problems during or after transit. As such, it’s better to err on the side of caution and foolproof your packaging.
3. HazMat shipment
HazMat or hazardous materials are substances or items that pose potential risks to health, safety, and the environment. These materials include all dangerous goods, from lithium batteries and pesticides to radioactive materials and explosives.
Shipping hazardous materials can be tricky for small business owners. However, as long as you understand the necessary packaging and handling requirements and secure related paperwork, you can avoid breaking any rules or regulations in moving these hazardous materials.
4. Lost items
Like damaged items, lost items are a big concern for eCommerce businesses during shipping. It can significantly affect your timeline since you must locate it and return it to its intended destination. Moreover, losing items does not look good for any shipping company entrusted to deliver products safely and promptly.
If you find an item missing during transit, immediately contact your shipping and crating providers. The faster you begin the problem resolution process, the more likely you’ll retrieve the item quicker and in pristine condition.
5. Lack of international shipping process knowledge
The shipping industry is a complex network of private carriers, national postal services, and other delivery companies. Shipping prices can also vary dramatically depending on the kind of service you use and your location. Small businesses with minimal knowledge of international shipping are often disadvantaged and have to spend more than they should on shipping costs.
It would be best to research or secure a professional that can teach you the intricacies of the international shipping process to avoid costly shipping mistakes. You will also benefit long term as you already have the necessary information for succeeding international shipment orders.
Working Towards Optimum Delivery
The eCommerce industry can be lucrative. However, like any other industry, there is no shortage of hurdles to overcome, particularly during the shipping phase. From unpredictable events and high prices to as simple as item damage, eCommerce shipping involves a lot of planning and preparation.
Fortunately, there are ways to decrease the chances or even eliminate these challenges. If you’re a small eCommerce business owner relying heavily on shipping, review these common shipping problems so you can anticipate and deal with them accordingly.