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We’ve seen the headlines “Why the global shipping crisis is here to stay” and “Chaos strikes global shipping” but what do we know and how is it impacting our customers.

Everyone only talks about trade/commercial shipments

These articles focus on one element of the shipping logistics industry – namely the trade/commercial impact – there is very little mention of the impact on the shipment of personal possessions or for people, like our customers who are trying to return home, start a new adventure or study abroad.  This is because (and no offence meant to our customers) we are seen as ‘small fry’. 

But the impact is never-the-less the same.  As a business Seven Seas Worldwide have seen container costs increase to an eye-watering amount, we’ve experienced unexpected delays as our containers (and customer shipments) are unceremoniously shifted off container ships in favour of trade and commercial shipments which can command a higher price.

After 25 years in the business we are fortunate that we do command some respect and weight with our shipping partners but with all logistics companies vying for space on ships just getting the container on board is only the start of the issue.  Once on board the ships are then held at port before setting sail adding further delays and then again at its scheduled (and sometimes unscheduled!) stops in transit.  All adding to ours and our customers frustrations.


Large container ship
Ship under Golden Gate Bridge

What about re-routing and avoiding the high traffic regions?

Seven Seas Worldwide were the first company to use marine trackers for the shipment of personal goods, something we’ve been very proud of, however routing changes and delays is now adding more time delays to our ETA’s we state to our customers.  We are now in the process of extending our transit times to make it more realistic of the current situation.   We have also re-routed customers’ shipments, in attempts to avoid the heavily congested and therefore delay-prone, Pacific region e.g. sending across the Atlantic or even down to Australia before heading into Europe. This can surprise customers but it is a measure of the challenges that we face so that our customers can benefit from minimised delays.

Asia and the Pacific region are the most heavily congested.   We’ve probably all, as a consumer, now received the comment “we can’t get the parts at the moment and are waiting on new stock”.  Demonstrating the knock-on effect of container shortages and congested ports that is causing shortages globally. 

When you also consider that Ports and local Customs are also altering processes and procedures following COVID (and In the UK / Europe due to BREXIT) it builds an extra layer into the mix.  We are aware of staff shortages in some ports in regions due to COVID as countries continue to manage the spread of the virus as highlighted in this article Warning of more delays.

Is there an end in sight?

We don’t know when this will ease, we hope by the end of the year, however, as we all know a lot of ships and containers need to move to get us back on track first. 

About the author

Robin

Robin

Robin heads up the sales and marketing team here at Seven Seas Worldwide.  Robin has a wide range of experience developing and growing businesses across a number of different verticals.  He lives in Kent with his partner, 2 Golden Retriever Dogs and 1 cat.  An ex social rugby player Robin now enjoys the occasional swim and the odd Skiing break.  Robin also loves to be social and when not entertaining he is trying out pubs and restaurants in the local area.