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5 Key Challenges of International Supply Chains

Cargo Express

It’s no secret that there has been significant disruption to international supply chains and cross-border shipping throughout the past several years.

What can only be described as a “perfect storm” of geopolitical issues, shortages, and changes all hitting the industry within a short time frame has resulted in serious difficulties when it comes to logistics management.

So, what are the main challenges facing global trade and supply chains, and how can you overcome them? You’re in the right place to find out!

1. Brexit and changes to UK customs processes

Paramount to supply chain disruption in the UK is Brexit and the slew of customs and legal revisions that came with it, resulting in enforced changes for businesses across the country. While logistics solution companies are well prepared for such changes, everyday businesses might not be!

For one, the UK leaving the single market means that any goods you import or export are subject to extensive and scrutinous customs and regulatory checks. Customs regulations also mean that any goods shipped to EU countries are subject to fees and could be delayed, further increasing the complexities of cross-border shipping.

Plus, the discontinuation of the CHIEF system for import declarations in September 2022, and the imminent closure of export declarations later this year, means that some companies still haven’t used the new CDS procedure, putting them off international deliveries and potentially limiting their business opportunities.

By working with a logistics solution manager, which has all the necessary paperwork and documentation needed for streamlined international shipping, your business can continue to operate internationally without delay.

2. Congestion and backlogs at major terminals

Since 2020, there have been several recurring incidents at major shipping terminals, especially ports across China and the USA, which have seen too many shipments to process, resulting in backlogs and significant delays.

Without a diligent logistics management team, carefully looking at supply chain risk management, your deliveries and shipments to and from affected ports could join the back of the queue. This could add days, or sometimes weeks, to the estimated delivery date.

By carefully managing your supply chain with a focus on risk management, you could help increase efficiency, reduce costs, and boost customer satisfaction.

3. Domestic labour shortages

Companies that operate using mostly domestic or intra-continental shipping solutions will have been hit hardest by recent labour shortages, especially with HGV drivers. This has resulted in supply shortages for major food chains and supermarkets, alongside increased rates for third-party deliveries.

Perhaps most importantly, a shortage of HGV drivers has resulted in long delays and a backlog of deliveries over recent years. That means many companies have had to extend their estimated delivery times across Europe, and indeed the world, resulting in reduced customer satisfaction rates.

4. Increased demands for same- and next-day delivery

The recent trend to offer widespread same- and next-day delivery options from major retailers across the world, namely Amazon and key high-street brands, has increased the expectation for similar solutions in the supply chain.

If your company handles all its own logistical demands, then you may understand how difficult it can be to fulfil such obligations with a limited fleet, especially if you’re shipping cross-continent!

That’s where working with a third-party logistics solution management company could help, allowing you to offload the pressure of quick and international deliveries to another organisation that will work closely with you throughout the process.

With expansive and varied fleets and the ability to cross borders easily, a logistics management company could help organise your deliveries and manage your supply chain easier. They can even help with your inventory management and warehousing solutions, too!

5. The digital revolution and data

It’s unavoidable – everything is going digital, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless you don’t have the facilities you need to keep up.

Customers expect delivery tracking functionality, you want your data to sync across devices, and automation is helping logistics companies manage their workloads.

Without the infrastructure in place, supply chain management worldwide will become much harder, and you may fall behind your competitors.

Working with a modern and forward-thinking logistics management company will help you overhaul your processes and bring you up to speed, ensuring your customers are satisfied with every delivery.

Get in touch

Cargo Express provide supply chain and logistics solutions to help businesses across the globe improve their shipping processes. From helping with customs declarations to offering next-day deliveries and large scale logistic solutions, we do it all.

Get in touch with our office to find out how could help you! Call us on 0121 384 1323 to speak with a member of our team today!.