delayed shipping 2021

Within the last few months, the shipping industry has suffered considerable challenges that have left both shippers and product owners in the dark.

Delays are a common occurrence, hence why our aim is to continuously work towards offering the optimum service and timely deliveries, to ensure the successful running of SMEs.

Comprehending the reason behind delayed orders and adopting a proactive approach will assist you in adapting to the ongoing changes within the shipping environment. Read more about the reasons behind why your orders might not meet their proposed arrival dates.  


The pandemic has completely transformed shipping as we know it. Due to stringent operations and rigid safety procedures, ports are experiencing extensive product movements during a very busy period.

Throughout the pandemic duration, customers have become accustomed to purchasing goods online, which has impacted shippers in terms of equipment scarcity and space limitations due to the high increase in product numbers.


Whilst the pandemic itself was an unforeseeable threat, there are no limitations to what might occur and place shipments on halt.

The case of the vessel blockage in the Suez Canal, which happened a few months ago, has shined a spotlight on the fragile environment in which the shipping sector operates.

Natural emergencies such as hurricanes and cyclones, together with wars and political trials might affect both departure and arrival times. It is always ideal to consider alternative supply routes in the eventuality that occurrences like these become threatening.


Different countries have their own shutdown peak seasons, which will automatically affect cargo’s migration from one port to another. Holidays, such as the Chinese New Year, put a toll on the logistics processes through ports affected; which then sees a backlog of productivity as ports resume their operations.

Our suggestion is to be aware of such schedule changes and plan beforehand to avoid extended delays.


Shipping documents are reviewed at the destination country’s customs border when cargo is shipped internationally. In more than a few circumstances, certain documentation might be erroneously forgotten or wrongly filled. This will automatically halt delivery.  

In certain instances, the country’s Customs might also decide to inspect cargo, which will bring about further charges as well as movement interruptions.


As cargo is being transported, the greatest care is taken to ensure that products preserve their optimum condition. It is understandable though, that on infrequent occasions, cargo might suffer from damages due to unforeseen circumstances throughout its voyage.

One of the benefits of having Thomas Smith assist you is that together with our shipping arm, we also have an insurance division that can offer shippers an affordable protection plan against any cargo accidents that might occur.


Most suppliers provide owners with an estimated timeframe of when production should be ready. However, the ability to meet those deadlines might be affected due to further challenges from their end such as shortages or raw material delays.

We suggest that you add a few days as a buffer to cover the extra production days required.