With all the uncertainty in the world around COVID, many industries are still suffering from disruption, but none more so than the logistics companies in Georgia and other states. The supply chain issues that first reared their ugly head in 2020 have only become worse as a ripple effect has caused problems for different aspects of the shipping industry in the year and a half since the pandemic started. These top COVID-related supply chain issues are the most pressing concerns right now.
Soaring Transportation Costs
Logistics companies are reporting that they’re struggling with keeping transportation costs down. Customers are already used to getting free shipping on many products and don’t want to pay even more to get their purchases to their front door. With Amazon and other large companies able to waive shipping fees, smaller companies were already struggling to compete before the pandemic began.
Unfortunately, when COVID hit, many transportation companies had to shut down completely for a period of time and as a result, lost many employees that haven’t returned. Fewer drivers or operators translates into fewer trucks or other vehicles to get the products from point A to point B. When the supply goes down and the demand goes up, so do prices. But customers don’t really care about this issue. They expect free or cheap shipping and will refuse to purchase items if they don’t get it.
More Red Tape
While increasing regulations can’t all be attributed to COVID, several global events before and during the pandemic have put more pressure on shippers to prove their cargo is legal and meets all international and national regulations. Brexit caused an increase in cross-border checks because the United Kingdom was no longer a part of the European Union and therefore had to submit to additional regulations. This had an effect down the line as supplies were delayed and sometimes canceled altogether.
Fuel Costs are on the Rise
In addition to the actual transportation costs, fuel prices are also increasing and some transportation companies are having to cut their fleet to make sure they can have at least some fully-fueled trucks available for shipments. This again leads to a supply issue when demand for shipping is at an all-time high. Even when products are available to be shipped, no trucks are available to ship them. This just leads to even more delays and supply chain concerns. Fortunately, there are ways to combat rising fuel prices through route optimization, which is something more shippers are incorporating into their businesses.
Right now, supply chain disruptions are everywhere, much of which stem from the chaos that was the pandemic. Logistics companies are scrambling to find solutions to these issues, but they’re stymied by stricter regulations, employee shortages, and high fuel costs. Who knows how long these problems will last, but shipping and logistics companies will need to come up with innovative solutions and do it quickly.