What to Do About the Worldwide Container Shortage

Did you foresee COVID bringing about this issue?

Containers are available, but not in the possession of who needs them. They’re piled up in inland facilities, in ports, and some are sitting on transpacific shipping vessels.

The shortage has been so bad that some companies have seen their shipping costs rise by as much as 300%. Ikea has even called this a “global transport crisis.”

On top of all this, other options remain limited and e-commerce demand continues to shoot through the roof. A past option would have been to ship via air. However, traveling is obviously severely restricted, so that continues to be just a highly limited (and also costly) option.

While this crisis plays its way through the global economy, what can you do?

Take a look at some of your options:

1. Pass Costs Onto Your Customers

While the global economy is mobilizing to alleviate the shipping container shortage problem, shipping costs have been forecasted to remain on the high side all year long.

In other words, we likely don’t have a quick solution to the problem.

In the meantime, the best you can do may be just to pass the costs onto your customers.

After all, your competitors will be subject to the same market forces too. If they decide to not increase their prices, they’ll have to eat the additional shipping costs themselves.

And they’ll only be able to do that for so long.

2. Increase Order Size

It may be time to leverage the “economies of scale” to your advantage moreso than ever before.

This may be a viable solution because not only can you drive your shipping costs down, but you can possibly protect yourself from not having your product available to sell at all.

The shipping container shortage has led to the complete unavailability of shipping containers for weeks or months at a time.

Placing large orders may fill those gaps so you at least have your product and can keep the cash flowing.

3. Redesign Your Products’ Packaging

Now may be the time to audit the packaging efficiency of your top-selling products.

There’s plenty of companies who can help you out if you need to do this at scale but don’t have the manpower to execute now.

With leaner packaging, you also maintain your competitive advantage even when the container crisis ends.

It may be just the thing your competitors overlook.

Yes. You can make it through the global shipping container shortage.

With the right approach, and a little bit of luck, you’ll find yourself in a better position on the other side of this crisis.