For seven days the world was held by the unprecedented sight of a monstrous transport vessel that had steered into the banks of the Suez Canal in Egypt. The Ever Given is 400m long (1,312ft) and weighs 200,000 tons, with a maximum limit of 20,000 holders. It was conveying 18,300 holders when it got wedged in the waterway, impeding all delivery traffic.
This comes when the effect of the Coronavirus is as yet being felt across the world. The expression 'inventory network' is presently being referenced more regularly than any time in recent memory in news media. A few outlets have assessed the expense to be $9.6 Billion every day in postponed products.
The Suez Canal has been impeded on different occasions before. There were at least 4 instances of a vessel being stuck in the channel. In any case, none of these occasions made the news a similar path as the current one.
Image source: Google images
There are possibly three reasons:
The blockages were resolved quickly; which means the response time was short and did not allow time for people to react to the situation
The overall percent of world trade flowing through the canal was smaller; which means there was a structured and well-planned flow of traffic through the channel
And most importantly because none of the events happened during an ongoing crisis (COVID-19) which had already strained the supply chains across the world.
But every situation brings with it a set of learnings that are just not applicable to that situation. With the Suez Canal blockage situation, the eCommerce industry can take away quite a few pointers. Here are 5 things that we think every eCommerce business owner must learn from the situation:
1. Risk analysis and management strategy:
This is particularly significant when managing high-sway circumstances like sole suppliers, or for this situation, (nearly) sole course of action. Things that are taken for granted don't turn out badly frequently, however when they do, the effect can be broad. One could accordingly anticipate these disturbances via cradle time, substitute vendors, and surprisingly higher local inventory.
Insurance secures your investments and covers your products for loss, harm, or postponement. Without freight insurance, all load is taken care of, put away and conveyed at the shipper's, owner's, and consignee's danger. It is always a smart idea to insure your shipments. At Vamaship, we suggest that you take out a degree of insurance cover proper for your conditions. All things considered, shipment robbery isn't rare on an overall premise, and episodes on road or in flight, while uncommon, do happen—and when they do, can bring about significant monetary losses. Regardless of whether your business isn't directly at risk in an international sales transaction, remember that the responsible party may not accept insurance, or could under-guarantee the products. Taking out extra cover yourself, as a possibility, can, hence, bode well.
3. Process planning:
Have at least a backup plan on what back options exist to transport the product. This can be other modes of transportation; this can also be other suppliers. We always advise that you stay in touch with the latest technology online so that you are aware of your options. Inside the world of eCommerce business, understand what is happening in terms of innovation, internet advertising, the most recent news, shifts in online culture and how to pursue basic web analytics. It is always a good idea to respond to as many opportunities and upgrades that are made, as you can. You should turn into an online business master inside your industry, knowing however much as could be expected about your rivals. Being dumbfounded by these things may leave you running later than expected.
4. Publish a Red book for firefighting:
No matter what you do, there will be events that will cause the supply chain to break or get disturbed. Having clearly defined guidelines on what constitutes a situation worth firefighting for, and the steps that will be required to fire-fight should be listed in such a red book.
5. Prompt customer service:
Unhappy clients are unavoidable in any sort of business. To keep away from any contention, incorporate however much data on orders as could reasonably be expected. This implies giving point by point data on such matters as delivery and merchandise exchanges, guarantees, ensures, and other data that could influence the client's experience. It is essential that customers feel as though you were on their side when a problem occurred, so follow up to make sure the problem was fully resolved and that the customer is satisfied with the service. You can do this through an email or a feedback survey – the goal is to let the customer know you are on their side.
The Suez Canal Blockage has some learnings for everyone. Applying these simple action points to your business will ensure that you are always in control of the situation and also avoid maximum damage. Instead of trying to resolve an issue after it has taken a turn for the worse, we advise you take a few proactive steps and gain control. This will help you in the long run.