If you want your business to thrive, you need to be able to plan for anything, including at-destination problems. We’ve compiled a guide on the common problems shippers face at destination.
Cargo weight limits and specifications
Interestingly enough, one of the common problems shippers face at destination is cargo weight. That comes in two different flavors, making things a bit more complicated for shippers. First, there are times when the container’s weight does not match the submitted paperwork. That can make it impossible for the cargo to transfer because of the allowable road weight limit, the ‘risk’ wrong papers carry, or simple limitations on the equipment required to handle cargo above a certain weight. The second problem is if the cargo is unevenly distributed in the container. That can cause many issues when moving the load out of the truck or vehicle. That, in turn, often leads to damage. And you don’t need to be well-versed in global trade to understand why that’s horrible for business.
Damaged or missing cargo
Speaking of damaged cargo, or even outright missing cargo, it’s the next of the common problems shippers face at the destination on our list. When you are shipping cargo internationally, the reality of the situation is that it’s easy for it to sustain damage. Even if you take all the necessary precautions, that can still happen to you. And naturally, this can also make your entire shipment worthless. Damaged cargo is especially common when doing LCL shipping, as your cargo shares space with other people’s cargo within a container. Businesses do this to reduce expenses when they don’t have enough load to justify renting an entire container. That is also the most common scenario when your cargo can go missing, not because of any malicious theft but because it can easily get mixed up with other people’s cargo.
Problems with paperwork
While uncommon, your paperwork can be mislabeled, misplaced, or lost. Of course, losing a document is very difficult in the age of digital paperwork. But one such example that can happen is Bills of Lading. The original copy of the Bill of Lading is essential. And it is crucial to release your shipment on time and without hassle. It is best to ensure it is only handled by reliable channels and with great care. And this isn’t the only piece of paperwork that you need to worry about when you do international trading!
Customs taxes, duties, and penalties
Two primary sources of additional taxes, duties, and penalties are associated with common problems shippers face at destination. First, there’s the fact that shippers must comply with all the regulations related to importing cargo. If they fail to do so, they incur fines and penalties that cut into your profits. The second potential source of these troubles is limitations on goods by certain countries. Your goods may be outright contraband or require special permits. That is, of course, something you need to worry about ahead of time. So long as you carefully check the list of banned or restricted goods and prepare the required paperwork for all the needed goods, you should not have to worry about this coming up!
The cost of delays
Delays are insidious killers of profit. They are both common problems shippers face at their destination and are easily among the most expensive ones to take care of. First, because you are bound by contract to make deliveries of goods on time, you can alleviate that by planning for delays to an extent. However, due to the various problems with customs, paperwork, etc., which we’ve already covered or will cover, you can even go over these ‘generous’ promised delivery times. And then there are the fees you might need to pay for going over your rental period for the containers your goods are in. These pile on the expense delays imposed on you and further cut your profits. That is why you need to do everything you can, such as reducing truck detention times as much as possible.
Customs clearance is a source of two different potential problems at the destination. First, of course, is the delay that a thorough customs check would impose on your shipment. It is not common for your goods to go through a thorough customs check. But it can and will happen if you regularly export or import. You completely counter the second problem through simple good judgment and full disclosure of complete shipment information. And it’s carrying goods that are not on your papers. That gets you in trouble with the customs officials, and you can bet that your shipments will be a target for detailed inspection for a long time.
Holiday-related delays and challenges
The final of the common problems shippers face at destination is, ironically, holidays. You must understand that when making international trade, export or import. You must account for the culture of the countries you work with and your own. Your well-planned delivery schedule can be thrown off because your shipment needs to pass through a country when it’s celebrating a national holiday and everything is closed. Planning for everything the first few times is annoying and stressful. But, once you’ve all the significant holidays marked out and noted in your schedule, they become a matter of routine. To get around the issue, you can use some methods to alleviate warehousing and fulfillment stress, such as smaller, faster shipments.
Success through proper planning for at-destination problems
As long as you know the common problems shippers face at destination, you can plan for them and find ways to resolve them quickly. That is why planning is always crucial for anyone who wants to do international import or export.