E-tailers that ship internationally have to give careful consideration to the logistics providers and carriers they choose to carry out deliveries. This is true for any e-commerce player, but especially those with a global reach – the larger the scale and the more borders to cross, the more opportunities there are for a delivery to fall behind schedule. However, there’s a relatively easy fix for that scenario.
By opting for a partner that’s carrier-neutral – in other words, it has no obligation to use a specific, single carrier – e-tailers can circumvent random delays that arise from logistics issues. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios where e-businesses would want to be able to switch carriers on the fly.
In mid-2015, airline workers in France conducted industry strikes that caused thousands of delays for flights into, out of and through France. One strike in late June caused 200 cancelations in that week alone.
France wasn’t the only country that saw its airline workers take action: Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Belgium and the Netherlands also witnessed employee strikes between March and July. According to Airlines For Europe, these strikes cost flights across all European airspace over 1 million minutes of delay.
When strikes like these ravage the airline industry, e-tailers and their customers suffer the consequences. Companies who rely on a specific airline which is affected or fly-in on one single location are inevitably forced to sustain delays in their delivery. Customers who need items within a specific window of time may be out of luck. It’s a no-win scenario.
However, carrier-agnostic shipping providers that stay up to speed on the latest industry-related news can get out in front of airline strikes and find a better avenue – either by moving to a different airline or using a combination of other transportation methods to hasten fulfillment. Landmark Global is a great example of a company that functions as an all-in-one shipping solutions provider, working for the best interest of e-tailers rather than being tied to a specific carrier or region.
Gatherings, protests and political unrest
Whenever any large gatherings take place, whether a peaceful protest, a major event or political unrest, it is highly possible that logistical needs will be compromised. Even when such events are planned for and carried out in an orderly way, it can still throw typical shipping routes into disarray.
Look at major events like the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which attracts millions of Muslims each year. E-commerce conducted in the area around the time of the Hajj will certainly be affected by the massive gathering. Foreign holidays also make an impact, which can catch e-tailers in other parts of the world unprepared.
Companies like Landmark Global are adept at recognizing certain events and either coming up with alternate routes or recommending a different approach or timeline altogether. Even when a delay cannot be avoided, e-tailers can still remain in their customers’ good graces by communicating well in advance.
Natural disasters and weather delays
The third common cause for shipping delays might be the most prevalent: blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. These are often extremely difficult to predict with any accuracy, so e-tailers and their delivery partner must be agile and responsive when events like these occur.
In November 2014, an unseasonably early blizzard plagued western New York State, dumping as much as 88 inches of snow in the span of about two weeks. Needless to say, the event paralyzed any transportation whatsoever, forcing carriers to assess a more feasible path in, out and through the region.
Other, warmer parts of the world have their own types of weather concerns. Typhoon season in Southeast Asia is notoriously destructive, as massive winds and tidal waves cause flooding and building damage. During such events, shippers whose goods are already en route through the area may have no control over where they go or how they’re routed. They and their clients are at the mercy of the weather and will have to live with the inevitable delays.
Peak season delays
Finally, there is another common source of e-tail frustration to consider: predictable delays due to high volume shopping, like around the winter holiday season. While these events can be planned for well in advance, it is still difficult to meet demand when e-tailers are tied to a single carrier or lack experience in high-volume situations.
Landmark Global offers carrier flexibility to e-tailers when demand is high and shipping routes are slow. They plan months in advance and ensure scalability in their global network during peak. Furthermore, the high level of returns, the need for efficient ordering and the demand for transparency are all common during peak season. The best logistics platforms take all of those needs into account and produce a tailor-made solution for each e-tailer.
Landmark Global’s carrier-neutral approach offers a desirable alternative. By choosing the best carriers, routes and means based on up-to-the-minute reports, and by leveraging a global network of fulfillment centers, Landmark Global helps e-tailers avoid these difficulties and deliver items to their customers as expected. Situations all over the world change quickly and without notice – your logistics efforts should be able to remain one step ahead.