Logistics have become of central importance to businesses around the world. For better or worse, China has become one of the most critical players in the modern market.
The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California are among the busiest in the world. That also means that they happen to be some of the most congested ports on the globe. This congestion, combined with various supply chain complications currently ongoing in China, is starting to hit companies hard. These complications slow down the business supply chain and are strangling the world of commerce.
The reasons behind these complications are multivariate; however, one of the driving causes of the present strain on the supply chain from goods coming from China is the dramatic increase in imports.
Rising Asian Imports
Imports from China have risen sharply since the pandemic began and has shown no sign of slowing down any time soon. This means that companies dependent upon Chinese imports must quickly adapt if they wish to survive in today’s hectic gridlocked markets. With massive ports like LA and LB flooded with Chinese goods, businesses will have a hard time securing their imports on time.
While an anti-Chinese-made sentiment had been brewing in the United States before the pandemic began, that sentiment has largely evaporated as people are now ordering more products that come from China than ever.
Coping with Stagnation
How exactly are businesses supposed to cope with the stagnation of strategic ports like LB and LA due to the seemingly endless influx of Chinese goods? For one thing, your business should start planning its supply chain much earlier than usual.
The Chinese New Year will bring new challenges to the shipping and logistics sphere that could be potentially crippling for stores and businesses across the United States.
While businesses across the nation will be affected by the impending slow-down as merchandise gets choked nearly to the point of a screeching halt, consumers will also suffer.
Your ability to manage your supply chain and keep a steady flow of goods to your customers will reflect upon your business and make a profound impression on consumers. Companies that fail to keep up will be seen as unreliable by product-hungry consumers.
Impacts of the Pandemic
The pandemic has changed countless lives, and not for the better. People around the country and around the world have been struggling to manage their lives since the pandemic of COVID-19 emerged. The everyday people that make up the vast majority of the consumer class have become increasingly wary. While their troubles and circumstances may differ, they all share one thing in common, a hunger for reliability. Folks need to know that through all of the craziness of COVID-19, there are still things that they can rely on.
Many people have come to distrust and lose faith in institutions as the pandemic drags on which means that your business has the opportunity to instill consumers with a sense of trust, faith in you, and your ability to deliver. In a time when people have been traumatized and watched the number of things that they can depend on diminish by the day, people seek and thirst for reliability like never before. It’s important to note that your business should strive to go above and beyond to win over more long-term customers during this difficult time. This means that you will have to do much more than simply keep your supply chain running smoothly; this should be a minimum standard to hold yourself to. In addition to keeping the flow of supplies steady, you should implement creative ways for your business to give back to your customers.
The idea of corporate responsibility, transparency, and generosity had already been building up steam before the pandemic took hold. These values are more important than ever before as customers across the country are looking for something to look up to. The key to success in today’s chaotic market is to position your business/brand as a hero coming to the customer’s rescue. Many companies have found creative and effective ways to connect with their customers throughout the pandemic and earn their trust and adoration. For example, some companies elected to give away free toilet paper with certain purchases whereas other businesses have been giving away free sanitizer. Whichever angle you choose make sure that it is something personal.
When you consider the types of products that businesses require to continue operations without interruption, the prospect of jammed ports and a bottlenecked supply chain becomes even less palatable. Consumers need products to carry out their daily lives and businesses need products to remain in operation, this codependency highlights the highly symbiotic relationship between products, businesses, and consumers.
Planning Early More Important than Ever
In addition to urging businesses to start planning their supply chains earlier, the current pressures being placed on global supply chains should also serve as a wake-up call as to just how fragile these supply systems really are. Not only are the supply chains themselves quite fragile, but also the holistic system of commerce itself. Just as many folks take their own good health for granted, businesses and consumers are now starting to rediscover how unpleasant any interruptions in the supply chain system and the flow of commerce can be.
As a final word of advice, businesses should be looking as far ahead as possible to handle each wave of challenges plaguing their supply chains over the coming months. Businesses who learn how to handle the difficulties of the pandemic now will grow stronger and more capable than those who fall behind.