Container shipping costs are skyrocketing. According to Freightos, the cost of a shipping container from East Asia to the East or West U.S. coasts has topped $20,000 as of September 2021—up more than 80% as compared to November 2020. All goods transported by sea, air, or truck freight along major global trade routes are affected by this price surge.
Bloomberg reports that the bottleneck in shipping is coming from a variety of sources:
- Growth of eCommerce worldwide
- Labor shortages in ports, warehouses, and manufacturing
- Port congestion and closures creating delays
- Short supply of empty shipping containers
The retail display industry is feeling this pinch as it sources scarce raw materials for displays. Having a strong understanding of the pros and cons of onshore vs. offshore suppliers and manufacturers has helped.
While IDD has a robust supply chain of domestic acrylic suppliers, all the work we do requires other components (e.g., hinges, glue, tape) that typically come from offshore suppliers. We've gotten creative with our workarounds by leveraging our network of domestic suppliers to get enough components to fill the orders.
To future-proof the materials needed for displays, consider these four tips:
- Build-in additional time for display build and delivery
- Work with a supplier that can source materials domestically
- Increase your inventory above expected needs
- Buy ahead, store it, and ship it when it's needed
To help our customers, Team IDD has in place a comprehensive Custom Asset Management (CAM) system. Our warehouse is set up to store displays until they are needed. Displays are tracked in an online inventory system, which allows our customers to see their assets in real-time and manage accordingly. IDD’s facility in the Midwest offers a centralized location for both housing and distributing retail displays. Daily pickups from FedEx, UPS, and a host of specialized freight companies mean displays make it to market faster and at a better price.
While the bottlenecks in the supply chain are worked out, IDD's CAM services can help by saving time, reducing costs, and driving higher levels of productivity when it comes to installing and maintaining retail displays. From packing and fulfillment to warehousing and logistics, to installation and setup, IDD offers a suite of services that can be customized to best fit the needs of our clients.