If you scan the news these days, stories about supply chain issues and product shortages are hard to miss. These issues are causing many U.S. businesses to rely on alternative shipping methods such as air freight services when sending and receiving items. This global issue was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to impact numerous fields, such as the construction, new and pre-owned automobile, furniture, home improvement, and electronic industries.
Supply Chain Issues, Labor Shortages and How Air Freight Can Help
What’s causing the holdup? It’s a multifaceted issue with numerous underlying causes. These causes include:
- Massive truck driver shortages
- Inability to find enough transit vehicles
- Increased trucking and transportation rates
- Congested ports clogged with too many ships
- Deficit of dockworkers to unload arriving cargo ships
- Increased consumer demand for goods and products
And these are just some of the issues contributing to worldwide supply shortages.
As the holiday season nears, retail analysts predict that these disruptions are likely to negatively impact Black Friday and holiday shopping. What can businesses do now to avoid supply chain problems during one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year?
When specific circumstances call for expedited shipping, air freight transportation options can help.
Urgent air freight can help you meet your needs when:
1. It’s the holiday season.
The top 10 business shopping days of the year fall between Nov. 26 and Dec. 27. This includes Black Friday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the first Saturday in December, and the day after Christmas. Air freight services can be used to ship consumer goods to warehouses and wholesalers, who then distribute them to retailers nationwide.
You are facing unexpected supply shortages.
The construction industry is one of many areas of commerce experiencing supply chain disruptions. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, 93 percent of contractors face at least one supply shortage, including lumber, steel, electrical supplies, copper wire, and lighting supplies. This is the perfect opportunity to use air freight shipping services, which can help organizations get what they need faster than other expedited services.
3. There is an urgent situation.
There are more than 130 million visits to the emergency room in the U.S. each year, and medical supplies must be readily available when incidents take place. Emergencies that require organ transplants, specific supplies, and equipment can utilize air freight to make sure hospitals and medical facilities have the items they need.
4. It’s another busy shopping season.
While the holiday season is one of the most hectic shopping seasons of the year, back-to-school shopping is also an extremely busy time for retailers, as are Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day. Even holidays such as the Fourth of July and Halloween, and seasonal changes, such as that from summer to fall, can lead to higher demands for items including home decor, certain food items, alcoholic beverages, and more.
5. You are shipping perishable items.
Perishable items typically have short shelf lives. It’s imperative that they get to their destination on time and damage-free. Local farms, food manufacturers, floral suppliers, and more can benefit from air freight shipping services that ensure that perishable items arrive at the promised location quickly.
How to Prepare for Busy Seasons
As the holiday season approaches, it’s important for businesses to have a detailed plan to ensure shipments arrive on schedule. Here are a few ways that organizations can prepare:
1. Be proactive by planning ahead.
Prepare for high inventory demand and increased production costs. Additionally, make sure you have multiple expedited air freight shipping options available. This eliminates unexpected shipping delays that can lead to monthslong backlogs.
Use supply chain software to oversee and track inventory, which can also help you plan at least 3-6 months ahead to ensure you’re well-stocked. Ordering supplies sooner and purchasing in bulk can save your business from future supply chain issues.
2. Be open-minded.
If you’re unable to obtain certain supplies on time, look into vendors such as AirFreight, which can ensure you receive what you need. Expedited shipping vehicles can also save time and money, and each shipment should maximize all space in a vehicle, even if you’re stocking more supplies than what you currently need.
3. Establish a relationship with a reputable air freight shipping company.
A qualified expeditor can help you understand different options to determine the most economical and fastest shipping method. This ensures transparency when it comes to shipping, tracking, and overall costs. AirFreight also provides a single point of contact, so you know where your goods are at all times.
4. Look into other options to get what you need.
Products manufactured in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada may be more accessible when facing stringent time constraints. Expedited air freight options provide much quicker shipping times for shorter distances, and air freight shipments made within North America will generally cost less.
Start Planning and See How Air Freight Can Make Your Life Easier
If you’re worried that your business won’t be able to keep up with holiday demand, you’re not alone. The good news is, if you start planning ahead now, you can meet your goals. Learn more about how AirFreight can help—contact us to get a free quote today!