Important Information About Deliveries
We are sure that we are not telling you anything you don’t already know…. But there are significant delivery delays for just about everything at the moment. Most people already understand the reasons why. But, in case you need help in communicating this to your customers this is the explanation.
State border closures and Covid lockdowns are causing havoc with road freight. More people are ordering online instead of going to shops, increasing the amount of parcels to be delivered. Lockdowns also mean that delivery for local couriers is much harder as many businesses they attempt delivery to are locked down meaning they are not able to deliver first go. Border closures also mean it’s taking longer for items to be moved via road. Almost all interstate routes go through NSW. Lastly, it doesn’t help that certain courier company drivers are choosing this time to go on strike to help push for better working conditions. The result is many of the domestic road freight deliveries in particular are being significantly delayed.
Most international air freight couriers have traditionally relied heavily on the utilisation of commercial flights. A significant reduction in international flights means that this option is all but removed. The result is higher demand but with reduced capacity to deliver. As such, the price of air freight has risen sharply whilst turnaround times have blown out considerably.
With air freight now being more expensive and slower, it has prompted many importers to move regular air freight shipments over to sea freight instead. This has put huge pressure on the shipping companies to the point that there is literally a world wide shortage of shipping containers right now. Not to mention space on ships. The problem has been exacerbated by a sharp rise in raw materials costs and escalating tensions with China, leading to people panic buying and stocking up further in Australia than they otherwise would.
This all means that the lead time on just about everything coming in from offshore is blowing out, including raw goods that are manufactured into final products here in Australia.
IBS made the decision many years ago to allow our clients full control over their deliveries. This means that we can only control up to the point that your order leaves our factory. As far as delivery is concerned, we simply act as an agent on your behalf to deliver the goods through your chosen courier from that point. We have instant pricing online for the main suppliers but if you have your own preferred courier company not in that list, you also have the option to choose pickup and arrange your own chosen delivery method, giving you full and complete control over who you get your parcels sent through.
Most of our clients understand this, but lately our staff have unfairly felt the brunt of a number of our clients' frustrations for issues that are completely outside of our control. Our Customer Service team are always happy to help where we can, but ultimately we are at the mercy of whoever you choose as your courier for each order. We totally understand that you are receiving pressure from your customers but we also want everyone to know that our team are all working as hard as they can to advocate to your chosen deliverers on your behalf. It has got to the stage that some of the courier companies are getting so inundated with inquiries that they have literally turned off the ability for us to contact them. So whilst it may seem like we are sitting on our hands, we are doing whatever we can, whenever we can, to help get things moving as quickly as possible.
The very best help we believe we can be to you right now, is to make sure that we get the manufacturing right for everything we do inhouse and ensure that we are meeting our estimated dispatch times. This is something that our entire production staff are acutely aware of and continually focused on.
In the meantime, to help relieve the pressure off everyone, we would highly recommend the following:
Please allow an elongated buffer in your delivery time promises to your customers.
Use the content above to explain to your customers the reason why freight is delayed and encourage them to give you more lead time for orders coming through to you for any time sensitive campaigns.
Consider your freight option very carefully when you push orders through our system. The cheapest courier options are usually the cheapest for a reason. Often, the cost of a few dollars more to get something sent via air express as opposed to road, can be worth the investment. Please remember that our ordering system will always allow you to make this choice when available.
We have updated our online order portal to provide you with an immediate link to the courier companies latest Covid updates surrounding delivery delays (please see red font in the image below). This will allow you to check what the latest info is from each courier company before you make a final choice on delivery method.
Please promote empathy towards everyone at the moment. There are factors outside everyone's control that are causing the current delays. Your clients need to hear that you are sympathetic to their frustrations. But they also need to hear that everyone is doing their very best at the moment, in a unique set of circumstances, not to let anyone down….. from our own customer service team right through to the delivery driver that is turning up to your clients door.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and hopefully things will return to normal soon.
In the delivery section of the order form, you can click on the COVID-19 service alert links for each courier to see updates related to delays due to COVID-19