Potential Supply Chain Issues And How To Avoid Them

How can a $7,000 order end up costing more than $70,000 in freight?

Quite easily, in fact. If due care and attention-to-detail aren’t observed, issues can quickly arise and, if left unchecked, can snowball into a much larger problem.

A great example of this comes from a client of ours that described a horror series of events that they encountered with a previous provider:

A Nightmare Scenario

Shortly after noon on a Tuesday afternoon, a South East Asian mining operation received notification from a manufacturer in Perth that their order was complete. Given the goods were for a shutdown, they needed to be air freighted urgently.

The selected freight provider was notified of the preliminary award and Authority to Move (ATM) was sent, but due to the time zone difference between the client and the freight provider, the order was not processed that day. Crucially, it wasn’t fully processed until Thursday morning, at which time the scheduled flight had already departed.

Alternate arrangements were made for the shipment to depart on the next available commercial passenger flight, only for it to be rejected upon arrival at the airline for exceeding the allowable dimensions. To add insult to injury, the shipment wasn’t packed on a compliant pallet either.

The client was provided with a new quote for transport using a freighter, but due to space being at a premium at that time of year, it was significantly more expensive than the originally agreed price. By the time the goods had been repacked onto a suitable pallet and made ready for collection, it was too late — the flight had departed. With freighter flights from Perth to Singapore leaving only once a week, the shipment had to be transported interstate to make the connecting flights, further increasing costs, delays and frustration.

By the time the goods finally arrived in Singapore, they were a full week late for the scheduled shutdown, at which point the required installation equipment and contractors were no longer available.

What should have been done?

A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and as the above example illustrates, a failure in one area has a run-on effect to the rest of the operation. Making sure documentation is correct and goods are packed properly is important to avoid delays and additional charges.

Had the client chosen to go with Navigator Logistics instead, these issues would have been picked up and resolved before impacting the client — with procedures in place to ensure that dimensions and packing are correct for the requirements of each specific journey. Our in-house workshop facilities at our Perth consolidation hub could have been used to alter the cargo, circumventing airline size requirements, and have it reach its destination on time and on budget.