Chicken wings, rental cars, and lumber are to today what toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, and hygiene products were in 2020.
Chances are you’ve heard about the strain on global supply chains that has led to shipping delays, price increases, and product shortages.
At its core, there are quite a few factors coming together at once that are creating the perfect storm for shipping delays and a nightmare for supply chain professionals.
First, there are the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the vaccination rates are climbing, many supply chains are still reeling from safety closures and employee absences for positive cases or contact tracing. Fewer workers have meant a less efficient system.
Couple that with a world at home buying more products online. Much of these products are made overseas and shipped in containers aboard large cargo ships. This influx of e-commerce has led to larger shipping vessels, which take longer to unload. Simply put, ships are coming into ports faster than port workers can unload them. The Port of Los Angeles, a gateway for Asian imports, at its height in February reported 40 shipping vessels anchored in the bay, and the average waiting time was about eight days.
And, speaking of news events that dominated headlines, remember the rare winter storms and blackout in Texas in February? That event led to raw material shortages, slowed plastic production, increased fuel costs, and ultimately an increase in packaging costs.
S-One Labels & Packaging is no stranger to these challenges, and we’ve been actively monitoring these situations and openly communicating with our vendors and partners to keep prices low and get products delivered on time.
We’ve also consulted with our own supply chain experts and came up with a few tips and tricks to help our customers manage these difficult times.
Tip 1: Increase Order Size
We pride ourselves on the low minimum order quantities. However, if you are able, it could make more financial sense to get your purchase weight – whether for films or coatings – over 500 pounds. We’ve crunched the numbers, and we found that additional pounds of material adds only slightly to the shipping cost, and the price per pound can drop as much as 39 percent for the same level of service.
Not to mention the sustainability benefits of less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with fewer shipments. An increase in order quantity means fewer shipments per year, and less fuel consumed. This also means fewer purchase orders to submit and invoices to pay, reducing the labor costs associated with doing business.
Tip 2: Order Early
We advise our customers order their products as early as possible to avoid any shipping delays. While we are not suggesting any, we firmly believe that the best time to reorder materials is before you run out of stock. Freight shipments may take a few days longer than normal, so we want to ensure the best customer experience.
We are doing our best to maintain costs and keep products coming on time, and we’re here to help you! Reach out to one of S-OneLP’s experts today to talk about these issues and figure out the best way to avoid delays.