Disaster Looming Over the New Year? Plan Now!Adam
It’s more important than ever right now to put the right foot forwards as a business relying on the international shipping world. If you are sourcing products from China, India or anywhere else in Asia, you are on a tight deadline for getting your goods in for early next year, made even worse by current worldwide economic circumstances. Importing into the UK is expected to take roughly 4-6 weeks, and that’s already discounting production time. Thankfully, this does not mean you have missed your only shot– as long as you make sure to act quickly. As a result, you cannot just relax now that Christmas is sorted; you need to start preparing now! Make your orders soon if you want to get the best possible start in 2023.
PLAN FOR THE WORST
Another reason to prepare soon and order early is that shipping times can vary wildly due to a range of possible conditions. Take a look below for more information on common delays.
- Production Times
Whilst it may be possible to source goods that are pre-made, production can generally take anything from a couple of days up to 30 days. As you will experience an increase in sales in the run-up to the festive season, so will your suppliers. This increase in orders means that production lead times can be extended longer than you would normally experience.
- Supplier Reliability
Not all suppliers are built equally. The best suppliers are simply the ones you know well– especially if you know they can meet the deadlines that are set out for them. If you are sourcing a new supplier for any of your products at this time of year, it is difficult to be certain that they will deliver on their promise to get your goods shipped according to the desired timeline.
Then there’s the question of quality! How can you be certain of the product quality that a new supplier will provide? As always, it’s advisable to source samples to ensure products are of the specification and high standards required. But this risks further delays, and if your time is limited, you may not get the chance.
- Supplier Location
Transit time to the UK varies significantly depending on the country. For example, from Cambodia to the UK, it will take about four weeks via sea, whilst shipping goods from Taiwan to the UK will take about five weeks. Imports from China are more complicated: shipments from northern China usually take longer than those from southern China. Additionally, transport from a manufacturer will take longer if imported from an inland factory compared to one closer to any major ports.
- Rising Demand
A spike in demand for goods imported from Asia to the UK at the end of the year (approaching Christmas) is to be expected. This applies to everything: toys, clothing, decorations, furniture and more. All this happens as people look to get their homes ready for the holidays. This not only has the potential to lead to extended production times but can also have a knock-on effect on transportation times. as shipping space becomes a premium. Not only that, but if you have taken a look at our last blog, you will know that there is a rising level of demand for shipping generally. This growth is showing no sign of stopping, so make sure to get your orders in soon!
- Weather Conditions
Severe weather conditions can cause significant delays in transportation. Unfortunately, this is more or less a case of bad luck if it does happen, which is why it’s so important to give yourself some leeway by making your important orders sooner rather than later. This is particularly true over winter. End-of-year conditions like snow and severe winds can slow down or even halt arrivals in the UK, while monsoons and typhoons in Asia can extend into late September-October, which arrests departures.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
When faced with so many possible delays at once, getting a headstart on the new year right now might seem intimidating. Don’t panic! That’s why implementing the right contingency plans is so important in the shipping world. You can, for example, plan for a few weeks of leeway on your shipments in case of unexpected interference. This can help to relieve pressure points in your supply chain and keep your business at the top of its game. You can use expensive but fast air freight for urgent transportation, and you can even double-check your customs clearance. However, the best, most efficient plan is to plan your orders ahead of time.
The next year might seem intimidating right now, but as always, it will be opportunities for UK importers. The shipping world is changing– so make sure to be ahead of the curve with all the latest information.
ABOUT UNEEK GROUP
Wondering where all this leaves you? Thankfully, Uneek Group has got you covered. At Uneek Group, we have unprecedented experience in importing and freight forwarding.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +44 (0) 20 8984 0425
Uneek Forwarding is part of the Uneek Group Ltd.