The global trade industry continues to thrive even when the novel coronavirus pandemic derailed the movement of goods. While shipping and transportation lines were affected when the virus first emerged, most courier services have found ways to safely deliver goods. After all, the cargo shipping industry is moving approximately $4 trillion worth of goods worldwide every day. If the global shipping process stops completely, almost all multinational businesses will not complete their fulfillment processes for customers.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s interested in shipping products abroad, you might be wondering, “How long does standard international shipping take now that we are in a pandemic?” Standard shipping time might be hardly affected on the surface since trucking and maritime shipping services try their best to get products delivered on time. However, there are still some hurdles that most shippers do not tell you about.
Are you ready to ship your products abroad? This article tells you everything that you need to know about standard international shipping during the COVID-19 era.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Shipping
There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic affected all walks of life in an instant. From governments imposing lockdowns to people suddenly canceling school and working from home, this situation has everyone reeling under a crisis full of uncertainty.
The COVID-19 pandemic also severely affected the shipping industry, especially in the first quarter of 2020. Most maritime and trucking shipment firms weren’t ready for such an unprecedented situation, and so their regular transportation routines were shaken up very quickly. After all, international shipping is highly dependent on constant human interaction and travel from one destination to another. The vast majority of shipping firms were unprepared, and as a result, the average number of daily shipment goods decreased.
The disruption caused by COVID-19 on land and sea trade networks also exposed the lack of technological capabilities within specific global ports. While each shipping location varies in capacity, strength, and size, the reality is that all ports need to equip themselves with the necessary technology for keeping data exchange and maintaining shipment regulations. As a result of this mishap, most shipping schedules have been delayed.
If both public and private sectors invest money in boosting online connections and advanced automation services, shipping time could be reduced for most companies.
Standard Shipping Time: Before the Pandemic vs. Now
So, how long does standard international shipping take these days?
Before the pandemic, standard shipping would arrive at your customer’s doorsteps in a span of 3 to 5 days. While there are instances where shipments get delayed, the maximum shipping time for common goods was around 14 business days. Your customers could also choose express shipping as a mode of delivery, albeit this option is significantly more expensive.
Nowadays, some business owners have reportedly experienced shipping delays for as long as a month. If you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur who’s highly dependent on international shipping, the pandemic brings many problems for you. For instance, you might ask questions such as “can Amazon ship internationally during the pandemic?” The answer is yes, but it will take as long as 1 to 2 months to get to your customers’ doorsteps. On top of that, the Amazon platform has also reduced the range of goods it can ship internationally due to shipping safety regulations.
The only silver lining for most eCommerce businesses is that customers are more understanding during this difficult time. Since they are fully aware of the effects that the COVID-19 brought to traditional shipping processes, they wouldn’t mind waiting a few extra weeks for their orders to arrive.
3 Tips to Manage Shipping Time During the Pandemic
Even during a global pandemic, you can still do some things to try and manage your shipping schedule. These troubling times may have caught everyone by surprise, but at least you can continue to do something about it.
For starters, you can try to implement these useful and time-saving strategies in your shipping process:
- Learn how to manage your inventory. COVID-19 brought about multiple disruptions to how businesses function, and one of the most affected areas is inventory management. Given the uncertainty of the situation, learn how to manage and integrate your inventory efficiently. Overstocking or understocking will bring you more financial woes and stretch your shipping time, and you don’t want these additional problems in the middle of a pandemic.
- Nurture relationships with shipping services. A vast network has been proven to be a useful resource during difficult times, and the shipping industry is no exception. If you want to reduce your shipping time, it might be a great idea to build a staunch relationship with your shipper. You never know, maybe they can provide a unique program for you if they see your shipping volume is consistent!
- Utilize analytics software. The shipping time during the pandemic is out of anyone’s control, and it might be the new normal for the time being. However, there are still some analytics software programs that you can utilize to predict your shipping arrivals. If you can see this information ahead of time, you will manage your shipping process more effectively.
Our Final Word: How Long Does Standard International Shipping Take, Really?
How long does standard international shipping take? Because of the uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, shipments will be delayed for as long as two months. This is the reality that all businesses have to accept, whether you like it or not. These extraordinary situations force us to manage our shipping schedules to fulfill our end of the bargain on time.
If you’re interested in hiring a shipping professionals team, we at Stallion Express provide standard and express shipping services for a fair price. Our top-quality shipping services will let you in on how to ship cargo internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic, so schedule a free consultation with us today!