The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to different parts of the world, affecting the supply chain and disrupting global markets. As people have hoarded items such as toilet paper and anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, consumers have rushed to purchasing essential items online.
Shipping and Transportation Delays due to the Coronavirus
International shipping has also been affected due to the Coronavirus. As you are probably aware, the main reason for this is that many online sellers rely on China for manufacturing, transporting goods and other services. Countries doing business with China rely on bulk of supply chain shipments comes from ocean freight. With restrictions and quarantines in place due to Coronavirus it will affect timely product delivery to consumers.
Some of the issues due to the Coronavirus include reduced air freight and suspended airline services to and from Mainland China This will affect the fulfillment of products being traded with China.
Industries Affected by the Coronavirus
Several industries worldwide have been affected by the economic effects of the Coronavirus. The outbreak has caused product and inventory shortages, transport route halts, factory production closures in China. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, stocks continue to be affected by steep losses, including Nike Inc, Estee Lauder Companies and more. The US industries hit hardest by the effects of Coronavirus include:
- Travel and tourism
- Global delivery
- Luxury items (such as designer purses and accessories)
Ecommerce in China is also feeling the strain of the Coronavirus due to the coronavirus outbreak> Alibaba has reported that the Coronavirus is preventing employees in taking orders and product fulfillment.
The Coronavirus is also impacting the technology sector including large tech company Apple. Apple recently released a press release and update regarding investor updates amid the Coronavirus pandemic. They scaled back on meeting their initial revenue guidance due to the temporary constrain of the worldwide iPhone supply, as well as the demand of Apple. As a result, the Coronavirus could affect Apple shipping significantly fewer iPhones.
Dealing with the Impact of Coronavirus
As a seller you will need to practice more diligence during this crisis. You will need to monitor the shipping and transportation situation. Be sure to have open communication with your suppliers to discuss the current situation and possible delays in the fulfillment of your products. In short, you will need to:
- Make sure you understand some of the regulations currentlyput in place such as shutdowns and/or curfews.
- Be aware of the specific areas have been quarantined. Factories in certain countries have been shut down. Dependent on the products you sell this could impact your ecommerce operations.
- If possible, consider increasing your inventory as a precaution due to expected delays.
- Notify your customers that might be affected due to delays in shipments and inventory on your site and all social media outlets.
- Consider multiple suppliers should your current supplier be closed for a longer duration of time.
In conclusion, there will be delays that will be out of your control. During this time, you will need to stake extra steps to stay on top of the effects of the virus. Be sure to pass along updates and information about your efforts to your customers.