If you have ever used international parcel shipping services, you probably have dealt with late packages at some point. It can be an infuriating experience when you’re eager to receive your goods as soon as possible.

But late deliveries aren’t always the fault of incompetent carriers. There are more complicated reasons why your parcel might be delayed. Let’s uncover the 4 most common causes for late packages.

Weather conditions

There’s nothing as unpredictable as the weather. It can change suddenly and affect any part of the international package shipping process.  For example, if you’re shipping to Russia from the USA, your parcel most likely will leave the country of origin by air freight. Bad weather conditions, such as a storm, may delay the flight and prolong the delivery time.

That’s not all. Once the package reaches the destination country, it’ll be transported to the recipient as road freight. Roads are also vulnerable to the weather. Rain, snow, fog, and other obstructive conditions may have an impact on late packages.

Incorrect labels and documentation

Sometimes packages are delayed because of improper labels and documentation. It’s crucial to write down the correct address to ensure speedy parcel delivery. If you fail to put down the complete or accurate address, your package might be taken to the wrong recipient. It’ll take extra time to correct the mistake.

Proper documentation is also very important. Especially if you’re using services for package shipping to Ukraine or any other foreign country. A customs declaration is obligatory when sending items overseas. Be sure to correctly fill it in. The customs form should contain all the required information. Otherwise, the package may be held up by the customs until you provide the necessary documents.

Increased volume of packages

Late packages are most common when shipping companies have to deal with the increased workload. It mostly happens during peak seasons, such as the holiday rush. It can also occur during big sales, e.g. Black Friday, when more people buy online.

Usually, carriers prepare for a higher volume of packages. But it’s hard to estimate the exact demand and to fulfill it. Package delays are the most difficult to avoid when many orders are made at the last minute. That’s why it’s highly advisable to ship your parcels as soon as possible when nearing peak seasons.

The covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 has affected late packages and international shipping in two ways. Since the pandemic started, there’s been a rise in online shopping. Physical stores were unavailable during the lockdown. And the need to avoid physical contact is still relevant. That’s why people are buying online more. This leads to increased workloads for retailers and carriers.

What’s more, the covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult to transport freight. International shipping companies had to look for new transport routes with some of the borders between countries closed. And the border policy still might change, depending on the spread of the virus. Everything results in longer delivery times.

It may be hard to completely prevent these top reasons for late packages. But you can still lessen the risk of delayed deliveries by taking action in advance.

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