The Reason for Delayed Shipping

Posted by Port City Logistics on Nov 18, 2019 5:00:00 PM

Whether you run a business or you're at home, a late shipment of an expected product or item can be frustrating. For businesses, it could delay the launch of a series of products. For homeowners, they may rely on that item or set of clothes for the next day. Despite the frustration, shipments delays can be excused on some occasions. The following are a few reasons why delays may happen:


Missed Ship Transfers

When transshipment is involved, there is a chance that the item might miss its transfer to the next ship. Transshipment involves the process of moving containers from one ship to another. Sometimes, this is needed because a large ship may not be able to travel as deeply into an area as a smaller ship. Often, a midway transfer is beneficial for all parties.

However, a problem may occur when the container misses its next ship. The missed transfer can happen for a variety of reasons; perhaps, one shift left early, or maybe the threat of severe weather rushes the process. Whatever the cause might be, if the container misses its ship, the container has to sit until the ship returns or another ship is available to move the container. This can delay the movement of that item for several days.

Lack of Documentation

Another reason that your shipment might be delayed is because of a lack of documentation for that item. Shipping involves countless layers of paperwork and checks. If the delivery is from international borders, the delay may be even longer due to inspection regulations. Each port has specific rules restricting certain items from being imported or exported based on the port country’s shipping regulations. 

If your item arrives without proper documentation, the port cannot accept the shipment. As a result, it will have to be held until the proper paperwork is received. This lengthy process can add days or weeks to the product’s estimated shipping time. 


Delayed shipping can also occur when carriers experience an influx of business with limited carrying capacity. When this occurs, they can choose to increase shipping rates. They may choose to delay the shipment of your product or item because someone else paid a higher shipping fee to get their product to them faster. This option to delay a product in favor of another is known as “rolling” and may happen for a variety of reasons including overbooking, mechanical issues, vessel weight issues, or documentation issues.

Congestion at Ports

Often, delays may occur based on a ship’s schedule. With multiple stops along the way, the ship must process numerous product shipments. In the same way airports have delays, ports often can be hit with delays. Slow unloads, reloads, weather, and numerous other factors play major roles in the speediness of a ship’s stop at any port. Naturally, if one ship gets delayed, a domino effect may ripple out, causing each following ship to wait to be checked. 

Clearly, there are a lot of reasons why your delivery may be delayed. To limit those delays, utilize a professional logistics team.

While some delays are inevitable, taking the proper steps to limit them increases your chances of your product arriving on time. Utilizing a professional logistics team relieves the stress of shipping delays. 

If you need logistics services in Savannah, GA, then contact Port City Logistics today! We are your single source logistics provider specializing in port drayage, OTR and warehousing. Beat the rush this holiday season!

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Topics: Single Source Logistics, Logistics Management, Supply Chain Efficiency, Warehousing, Ocean Freight Shipping