Introduction

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has become synonymous with 2020. Changing lives across the world has forced people, businesses and countries to rethink their approach in almost everything. For companies, transporting goods became a mountainous task. This article discusses how to choose the right shipping and logistics partner, ensuring a seamless approach during COVID-19.

Quick communication

For any logistics and shipping company; the ability to communicate effectively is one that often goes unnoticed. Different locations, time zones and locations present themselves as barriers in smooth communication.

COVID-19 has exacerbated things yet nevertheless, for freight forwarders they still work continuously hard to ensure no delays.

Inquire about response times, email delays and better yet, if they offer an out of hours service, you can rest easy that your enquiry will be answered.

No hidden charges

In recent times, a handful of logistics and shipping companies are adding hidden COVID-19 surge charges to consignments. For any business owner already struggling with budget cuts in tough market conditions, additional fees are a no go area.

Companies like Asia Trade Partners remain transparent throughout their whole process and outline all fees at the start of the procedure.

In the meantime, when drafting contracts ensure all parties involved outline their prices.

Adaptability

Back in March, 20% of the globe were in lockdown. Flash forward to today and many people are still working from home.

This can introduce complications for logistics and shipping companies. Communication is stretched, the availability to perform certain tasks along the shipment line are blocked and access to equipment and software is limited.

Therefore, choosing a third-party logistics partner that can adapt to these situations is of utmost importance. And what does this mean?

Adapting to different client’s needs and requirements. Maybe you may not be shipping as much as you used to and would need to look into LCL (Less Container Load) container shipments instead.

Maybe your product line has changed. Countries saw a massive surge in PPE, with many clothing retailers adjusting their product line to suit nationwide demand in protective equipment.

Also, the urgency to get things from A to B have drastically increased too. If a logistics and shipping company can adapt well to these things, that is most definitely a green flag to look for.

Going Green

The shipping industry is estimated to contribute 3-4% of all global emissions and although over time the industry has sophisticated its technology to match the growing demand; it is still a concern amidst a global pandemic

Therefore, shipping and freight forwarding companies should be proactive in reducing their carbon footprint. Trends in going green have seen companies offer ‘slow steaming’ whereby ocean freight runs at a considerably lower speed, reducing fuel consumption and has become the forefront in practising environmentally friendlier transportation.

Another growing trend is the use of ‘skysails’. A great innovative design, skysails use large kites to tow cargo ships along its journey. Through minimising cost and the utilisation of wind energy, this is a method that will gradually gain more momentum throughout the upcoming years.

Conclusion

In short, choosing a shipping company suited to your needs takes time and consideration. Nevertheless, by assessing their communication, transparency, adaptability and contribution in going green you are guaranteed to be in safe hands.