April 28, 2021
Global cargo shortages, shipping port logjams, rising air freight rates, border closures, petrol price hikes, factories operating at half capacities and more are causing shipping delays and major setbacks to the retail industry worldwide.
Air travel restrictions have considerably diminished global air cargo capacity and connectivity, while seaport capacities are increasingly being put under stress.
The issues have been creating a ripple effect since the global economies began taking the first steps towards recovery at the end of last year.
Even as more countries relax local restriction rules, Covid-19 still rages on in the essential workforce, especially in manufacturing, seaports and border checkpoints where working in close proximity and processing foreign travellers are necessary.
International trade accounts for about 300 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product and drives its export-focused manufacturing and services sectors.
Singapore needs to plan and be ready for more disruptions to its supply of food and other essentials, as lockdowns continue in exporting countries, said ex Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.
Major retailers in Singapore are facing an overwhelming wave of complaints from frustrated customers and found a spike in grievances about late shipments, missing parcels, refund requests and CASE reports.
Lowered revenues means many companies were forced to downsize labour capacities and increase prices to honour financial commitments on time and smoothen operational procedures to appease the market's demand amid the chaos.
Consumers are urged to be patient and extend their understanding to retailers as they are acting on minute changes daily and working in tandem with their supply chain counterparts to ensure goods arriving to the Port of Singapore on time with enough manpower to process these bulk cargo shipments.
Customized orders and pre-orders are bound to face inevitable delays of up to 3 months with reduced capacity in factories, so retailers have the responsibility to be more forthcoming about shipment dates and be transparent with customers to build long-lasting relationships.
To weather the storm, big and small companies need multi-pronged strategies to deal with these disruptions to global supply chains and seek various methods to keep the business afloat.
"The best way for us to protect ourselves from the competition is not by shutting out the competition, but by taking the bull by its horns and building up real capabilities for us to create new niche areas for ourselves."
(source: CNA, Hellenic Shipping News)
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April 28, 2021