8 Reasons for Shipping Delays

A red color truck parked on the highway
18 Wheel Truck on the road during the day. Side view.

Many things can cause delayed shipments. By knowing what these causes are, you will be armed with the information you need to address the issue as soon as it occurs.

Discover nine common causes of delayed shipments and what you can do about them.

1. Delivery Vehicles Breakdown

Delivery vehicles can break down on their own or wear down from constant use. This can cause delays in shipping and ultimately result in delayed shipments.

Work with your shipper to ensure you have a backup plan for delivery delays. If the shipper’s delivery fleet is wearing down, work with them to find a replacement vehicle.

2. Customs

Depending on the country you import goods to and the method of transportation, your shipper may need to deal with customs. Customs are integral to international shipping but a significant barrier to deliveries.

To keep delays at bay, ensure your shipper has the correct documentation before they accept the order. If you order goods online, ask if they have the documentation necessary for customs clearance before placing the order.

3. Traffic Jams

Traffic jams are common in big cities and often cause delays. This can result from traffic accidents, road construction, or even blackouts. That means longer times between deliveries and higher shipping costs.

Be sure to communicate with your shipper before and during the delivery process. Determine the route they will take and how they plan to keep the shipment moving.

4. Theft

Unfortunately, your shipment may be stolen or lost during transit. Make sure your tracking information is updated before you ship, and have a paper trail to prove ownership of the shipment. If nothing else, document all communication with the shipper and what happened if theft does occur.

5. Tech Malfunctions

If your shipper relies on technology to communicate with the supplier or track the shipment, you may face a delay in your shipment if a tech malfunction happens. For example, if the shipper does not receive information from their supplier because of a tech glitch, they may suffer from damages and losses.

If your shipper has a technology problem that causes delay, ask them what they can do to reduce these problems in the future.

6. Incorrect Address

Whether your shipper is responsible for getting the correct address or you made a mistake when entering it into the system, an incorrect address can cause a shipment delay.

Always double-check that you have the supplier’s current and correct mailing address. If your shipper is responsible for getting the seller’s address, they should ensure that it is accurate before loading the shipment on their truck.

7. High Volume

High volume can put additional pressure on your shipping carrier. This can result in a delayed shipment schedule and cause other shipping problems.

If possible, have different carriers handle different shipments. For example, you could have one carrier take care of your local area while another carrier handles national deliveries. This way, one carrier does not have to transport all sorts of items and will be able to focus their attention elsewhere.

8. Weather

A delay in shipment can occur due to weather, such as wet roads, heavy snow, and hurricanes. Ask the shipping company about their weather policy and procedures if the weather does not cooperate.

Overall, many factors can cause a delay in your shipment. The sooner you identify those causes and implement strategies to prevent them from happening again, the better off you will be. Do you need a freight company to ship your next load? Contact us, and we can handle it for you! We look forward to helping you.