Retailers are Still Asking Shippers to Push Back Delivery Schedules
Published on May 26, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented effect on retailers worldwide, leaving those who have not yet found their footing to continue scrambling to make the needed adjustments to their heavy increase on the e-commerce side of their business. With reduced numbers of staff on hand, many working remotely, and large companies struggling to add more warehouse staff, the ripple effect continues outward as shippers likewise are asked to modify their delivery schedules.
Between issues with retailers utilizing big e-commerce platforms for a large portion of their business that end up marking their products as “non-essential,” and supply chain issues both domestic and overseas, retailers have been hit hard from a variety of angles.
All of these issues are leading to many asking their shippers to push back on delivery schedules while they seek solutions.
If you are a shipper and need to push back your own delivery schedules, reach out to Redwood Logistics today and our team will help you modify your operations efficiently.
Major Adjustments for Third-Party Sellers
For third-party merchants that sell on an e-commerce site in categories not classified as essential, delivery delays continue to be problematic.
According to a Feedvisor survey of over 1,000 US brands, 42% reported that more than half of their e-commerce sales come from Amazon alone. This indicates how many companies lean heavily on the e-commerce giant to make their sales.
As a result, some retailers have opted to close down temporarily and move the majority of their business online. Due to the needed restructuring of third-party sites, some retailers need to restrict or delay shipments while they attempt to manage where and how their product will be made available for purchase. This is, by far, one of the biggest reasons that shippers are currently being asked to slow down, alter or altogether suspend delivery schedules.
Brick and Mortar Stores Closed Until Further Notice
Most retail locations, particularly in specialty and apparel industries, have had to stop deliveries to their locations altogether while brick and mortar stores remain closed.
Replenishments to maintain in-store inventory and the utilization of ship-from-store and in-store pickup to leverage retail locations had been a smart choice. The solution proves useful when stores are open, cutting shipping costs and minimizing markdowns, but under current circumstances, shipments must all come from the more centralized warehouses which may be understaffed and struggling to manage fulfillment.
Pandemic Effects on the International Supply Chain
For some retailers, raw materials for products are overseas, and the supply chain is still delayed while various countries weather the stages of pandemic response within their own borders. Many businesses are pursuing the same limited inventories.
In fact, a company may need to delay shipments of some products or materials while negotiating the procurement of others. Ocean freights are experiencing delays, in some cases, of more than four weeks... and there are massive backlogs.
Meanwhile, some factories abroad have shut down completely or are operating at a relatively diminished capacity.
Increased Demands on e-Commerce Overwhelming Some Businesses
Grocery retailers have seen e-commerce demand skyrocket with social distancing rules in place. However, the pick-and-pack store-centric model leaves employees struggling to fulfill online orders while competing with in-store customers. There are also thousands of SKUs across thousands of square feet of retail space, leading to some grocers experiencing scaling issues. As grocery strains to meet demands, they too may need to push back on shipments while attempting to reconfigure business practices.
With demand across industries volatile, supply chain impacts from raw to finished goods uncertain and capacities under constraint, some brands are downsizing and even dropping orders. Others are deferring orders or payments and limiting replenishments. US manufacturers are anticipating financial impacts as factory orders are delayed and peak season is likely to be disrupted. There have also been the issues associated with “sick-outs,” protests, and adjusted staff levels to accommodate COVID-19 protections; with the current environment providing no clear end in sight, these factors may continue to affect the entire supply chain.
However, some retailers are weathering the storm more efficiently thanks to better supply chain management. The advantage of having more closely supervised and flexible control of goods in transit leads to more responsiveness and allows companies to react in real-time to the constantly evolving pandemic-driven marketplace. This is something you can put into play in yourself.