The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an explosion in online shopping, and logistics providers all over the world are fighting to keep up. Delays from other carriers — especially overseas — cannot be predicted. How can you cope with shipping delays resulting from COVID issues? Western Peaks Logistics experts explain the details to you.
Online sales of goods have skyrocketed during the pandemic. There are two main reasons for this. One, because Americans were told to stay home, and two, because many stores were required to close, shoppers were forced to buy their goods online.
Regardless of why people are buying more online now than before, it’s important to understand that this trend is expected to continue — much beyond the pandemic. Traditional shoppers, who tend to be older, like to touch what they buy, hold it, and examine it personally before making the commitment, but millennials have always been known as big online consumers — more so than other generations.
Younger shoppers are less inclined to think all the extra time and effort of shopping IRL is worth it. They are happier buying a frying pan or a pair of shoes or new earbuds online and forgoing the hassle of getting into the car, driving to a store, looking for a parking place, and going inside — only to find they don’t even have the item they were looking for.
Online shopping is faster, easier, and more convenient.
Overwhelmed Logistics Companies
The extremely large and sudden surge of goods being shipped has challenged logistics companies worldwide.
As a consumer, you may have noticed some items you ordered took weeks to arrive — longer if international shipping was involved. The holiday presents and cards that you mailed before Thanksgiving may not have arrived until February. You may have seen pictures in newspapers of warehouses full of mail and packages, just languishing in bins because there was no one to deliver them.
Shipping, Logistics, and Last-Mile Delivery
You may wonder why the problem was not quickly and easily solved by hiring more drivers. After all, weren’t millions of people out of work due to pandemic closings?
It’s just not as simple as that. First, many people who had lost their jobs due to COVID were afraid to take jobs as delivery drivers, due to disease exposure. Second, not everyone is qualified to be a delivery driver.
For instance, you need a driver’s license — sometimes a commercial driver’s license, depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving — and a clean driving record. At Western Peaks Logistics, we also require our drivers to be drug tested regularly.
As a retailer, the important thing for you to remember is that this type of shipping problem is unprecedented. Whereas at one time you might have lost a customer over a shipping delay or a product that was out of stock for an extended period of time, it is not necessarily the case now.
During the pandemic, if shoppers went to a store and discovered they were out of toilet paper or hand sanitizer, they would not march out in a huff and go to another store, because they understood that no one had these things. For a time, toilet paper and hand sanitizer could only be obtained via rumors on social media about where to find some.
Today, you might be shopping online for a particular item and feel frustrated that is has said “out of stock” for weeks, but it’s the nature of the conditions we are living in.
Reliable Logistics Company
One way to get answers and some peace of mind as a retailer is to work with a dependable logistics company you trust. At Western Peaks Logistics, serving Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and the entire Rocky Mountain West, we believe the key to dealing with COVID shipping delays is communication.
Studies show that commuters trapped on a train that is not moving are much less upset when they are given regular updates. No one wants to be left in the dark, guessing and fuming.
At Western Peaks Logistics, you get answers. If your goods have not arrived at our facility at the expected time, we find out why, and we let you know what we’ve learned. We can’t fix a delay due to a ship arriving late from China or a freight train that that has been detained coming from the East Coast, but we can keep you informed.
Most of us have had the unpleasant experience during COVID of logging on to a tracking site to see where our package is, only to notice that it has been marked “delivered.” After spending time on the phone or with a chatbot, you learn that the company marks them delivered before they actually deliver them, and you’re told to just give it another day or two. At WPL, we would never lie about a package’s whereabouts — it’s counter to everything we do as a logistics company.
One reason we’re a successful logistics company is because of our dedication to transparency and accountability. Small businesses and online retailers who want a reliable partner in Salt Lake City, Denver, or Boise turn to Western Peaks Logistics. Contact us today.