10 ways e-commerce businesses can overcome supply chain disruption [Part 1].

In the last few years, the resilience of your e-commerce supply chain would have been tested like never before. The biggest challenge was likely to have come from the Covid-19 pandemic which signalled long periods of lockdown and disruption across the globe.

In the midst of all this, a container ship, the Ever Given, blocked the Suez Canal for six days, stalling the movement of USD 400 million worth of goods per hour.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is having a devastating impact on the lives of the people in the region, The conflict has also had a global impact, playing havoc with the transportation of key raw materials such as oil.

10 FAQs on how eCommerce businesses can overcome supply chain disruption(Source: Article Photo)

[01] Our e-commerce business has been experiencing huge supply chain problems. Is it just us?

Most definitely not. Your profitability may have been impacted by these issues but at least we can reassure you that you are not alone. According to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), about 75% of the companies surveyed reported supply chain disruptions, 80% expected some kinds of disruptions in the near future, while 62% reported delays in receiving goods.

[02] We don’t deal directly with businesses in Russia or Ukraine, but our supply chain still seems to have been hit by the crisis. Why?>

These days, with the global economy, everything is connected. According to Dun & Bradstreet, there are fewer than 15,000 Tier 1 suppliers in Russia. But scratch beneath the surface and you discover there are 7.6 million Tier 2 supplier relationships with Russian entities globally. Each issue has a knock-on effect and that may be why you’re facing problems even though your supply chain doesn’t cross the area.

[03] When the Suez Canal was blocked and our and our merchandise got delayed, our reputation suffered as a result. What could we have done to avoid that?

Each mode of freight transportation has its pros and cons, but when it comes to speed and responding to emergency situations such as the Suez Canal blockage, Air Freight leaves the others well behind. You can read the full story of how air came to the rescue of a global apparel company facing operational issues such as documentation handovers and release of bills of lading Switching to air at the last minute saved the day as well as the fashion brand’s reputation.

[04] E-commerce sales grew 50% during the pandemic. How can we stop supply chain issues hampering this growth?

The rise of e-commerce sales is a result of changing consumer habits. Even if the current supply chain disruptions continue and new ones arise, the direction of travel for e-commerce will continue to be onward and upward. What you need to focus on is building resilience in your supply chain so you can cope with the next major unexpected event. This means having a wider range of transportation modes at your disposal, so you’re not too reliant on any single one.

[05] Our e-commerce business is mainly seasonal. How can we cope with the extra demands placed on our supply chain during peak season without incurring unnecessary costs at quieter times?

This question touches on a very important point. Supply chain resilience isn’t just a case of being able to speed things up, or increase volumes, when you’re busy. It’s also about being able to slow things down when the heat is off. The answer to this double-edged challenge lies in building in flexibility. With the increased variety of transport options, together with flexible storage, container capacities and increased visibility across the supply chain from end to end, both the rise and fall in supply and demand can be met more easily.

by MAERSK. Expert Opinion.  October 07, 2022.
Source: MAERSK. 16 October 2022.

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