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Take these 9 steps and say goodbye to shipping delays forever
Shipping trends

Take these 9 steps and say goodbye to shipping delays forever

Versha Kamwal
March 11, 2023
mins read

Things often go as planned but when it comes to ecommerce shipping, anything can happen!

Being hit with shipping delays is a nightmare for not only customers who are waiting eagerly for their orders, but also ecommerce brands as their reputation is at stake.

Let’s see how this colossal shipping situation impacts your business. First, the situations often result in a refund requests. Second, increase in WISMO (where is my order) calls. Third, a pile load of complaints.

On the other hand, brands often choose to ghost their customers on the details about their order. In the end, no one is happy!‍

Well, shipping delays are never fun, but they don’t have to spell doom for your business. Let’s find out how.

In this blog, you will learn what is shipping delay, what causes shipping delays and how ecommerce brands can prevent shipping delays.

What are shipping delays?

A shipping delay is an event when an order is shipped or delivered after a predetermined period of time. For example, an order places an order on 21st January and due to a strike the order is not shipped for 10 days. Subsequently, the order is delivered on 2nd February. Such shipping delays can affect customer experience adversely.

41% of consumers blame for late deliveries on ecommerce brands.

What causes shipping delays?

All sorts of things can cause shipping delays, but some triggers are far more common than others. Here are some of the most typical causes of shipping delays:

1. Emergencies on a global scale

Worldwide events such as pandemics, wars, and other emergencies can impact logistics adversely.

2. Supply chain disruptions

Businesses may also face shipping delays due to disruptions in the supply chain. These include, raw material shortages, freight shipping capacity restrictions, vessel delays, unavailability of transportation modes and more.

3. Delay in order processing

Shipping delays can occur if an order is received but is not processed on time. It can be either not assigned to a picker or not packed on time.

4. Labour shortages

Any labour-related issues can hit the shipping industry hard. These include strikes and workforce shortages that delay shipping.

5. Weather abnormality

Bad weather and natural disasters can also cause major shipping delays. Events such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, and hurricanes can cause transportation difficulties at the air, sea, and ground level due to

6. National and international holidays

Many shipping carriers observe closures during national and international holidays, meaning they aren’t operational on those days and won’t pick up or ship orders. These holidays include Independence day, Republic day, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and more.

7. Incorrect shipping data

Major shipping delays can be caused by incorrect data such as an old phone number, a small typo, or wrong address. As the courier service doesn’t have sufficient information to deliver the package, it may result in a delay.

8. Faults in last-mile delivery

Once orders are in transit, brands have less or no control over the shipping carrier. Therefore, shipping delays can happen due to zero visibility of shipments and the inability to address the problem promptly.

9. Peak season

During peak seasons and flash sales, orders scale up exponentially as compared to BAU (Business as usual) order volumes. This can cause major delays due to scarcity of adequate labour, scalable space and sufficient time.

How to prevent shipping delays?

Here are some awesome strategies that can enable ecommerce brands to prevent and manage shipping delays:

1. Leverage multi-location warehouses

Shipping your orders from multiple locations is a great way to increase the shipping speed and prevent any uncertain delay. For that, you need fulfilment centres across the country covering all the zones, i.e. North, East, South and West. So by splitting and storing inventory closer to your customers, you can avoid any delay and ensure speedy delivery.

Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres spread across India, enabling you to provide fast delivery without worrying about your customer's location.

2. Optimise delivery routes

In order to avoid any delay, the first thing you must do is optimise your delivery routes. You can select the fastest, most cost-effective routes possible. This means, your order must be shipped automatically from the optimal fulfilment centre based on inventory availability, customer location, and SLAs (service level agreements).

For instance, you received an order and your customer location is Pune. Then, the order will be allocated to the nearest fulfilment centre, i.e. Mumbai rather than Delhi fulfilment centre to ensure speedy order deliveries.

Eshopbox leverages intelligent order routing to allocate orders to the nearest fulfilment centre according to customer location. This enables Eshopbox to achieve the most cost-efficient and faster deliveries without any chances of delay.

3. Embrace ecommerce automation

Since humans are directly involved in the ecommerce fulfilment process, delays are most likely to occur. Fortunately, you can now automate traditional warehouse operations by leveraging powerful technology, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more. This can help you to reduce the workload and the time spent picking, packing and shipping orders.

Eshopbox maximises efficiency and avoids any delay in order fulfilment with ecommerce automation.

4. Ensure a streamlined pick and pack process

When an order is received, you need to make sure that it is assigned to the picking team as soon as possible. The picker can then pick the products from their respective locations and then pack them with secure packing materials to protect your products in transit. Any delay in assigning orders in picking and packing can result in a major shipping delay. That’s why you need to focus on achieving streamlined order processing without wasting any time.

Eshopbox ensures on-time order processing by following a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). You can enable priority pick and pack for orders that require faster turnarounds.

5. Stick to SLAs

If you're selling your products on marketplaces, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and more, they have stringent fulfilment guidelines and predetermined shipping times that have to be met consistently. For that, you can ensure that orders are marked ‘ready to ship’ on time—reducing the chances of any delay and seller cancellations.

Eshopbox is compliant with the guidelines of every marketplace and meets all their service requirements; this ensures that orders are processed within the required turnaround time (TAT) while complying with their strict Service Level Agreement (SLAs).

6. Use warehouses or fulfilment centres that are functional on holidays

In order to avoid delays due to national and international holidays, make sure that your ecommerce warehouse is functional on those particular days. So that order processing is carried out without any pause.

Eshopbox’s FCs are operational on holidays (festivals, Sundays and more) without any additional cost.

7. Use expedited courier services

After quick shipping, you need express delivery by a courier service. For that, you have to tie up with national carriers with a proven track record. An experienced courier partner can help you avoid delays with their expertise, problem-solving ability and technology throughout the supply chain.

Eshopbox's strong tie-ups with courier companies allow you to provide fast order deliveries.

8. Improve last-mile delivery

Inefficiency occurs in the final leg of the fulfilment journey, i.e. last-mile delivery. To strengthen the last-mile delivery and avoid any delay, you need full visibility of deliveries and a tracking system in place. It will enable you and your customers to keep track of orders in transit as your brand’s reputation is at stake once your products leave the fulfilment centre.

Eshopbox empowers you and your customer to track orders in real-time on a dedicated tracking page and sends proactive updates to notify your customers about their orders. Eshopbox also enables you to track and see order updates for your customer shipments. If there is a delay, you are notified proactively by the courier partner so that you can address the situation immediately.

9. Increase fulfilment capabilities during peak season

You need to make sure you are adequately equipped to meet the peak season demand with capacity planning. You can plan daily capacity and manpower needs for optimum efficacy. Moreover, you need to ensure timely inventory replenishment to avoid stockouts during peak season and maintain uninterrupted ecommerce order fulfilment.

Eshopbox allocates fulfilment resources according to the order volume to effectively manage variability in order volume. When order volume is high, Eshopbox gives you additional resources including additional space, workforce and greater flexibility.

Bottom line

Shipping delays may not be avoidable entirely, but you can reduce the chances of delay and mitigate their impact on your business. As you work to manage possible delays, remember to keep your customers updated about the status of their orders. This will minimise the chances of soured relationships and complaints and enable you to delight your customers.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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