Importing goods in 2022 – challenges and developments
28 February 2022
Importers have had a challenging year. Delays, towering rates and a lack of staff have made business difficult. On top of that, they are now facing issues due to the current resource shortages. Unfortunately, these factors directly negatively impact global trade and the import of goods. Where are we now, and what are the expectations for entrepreneurs for the rest of 2022?
Half of all entrepreneurs have more trouble doing business
Half of all entrepreneurs have more trouble doing business internationally compared to a year ago. This was shown by the ‘Monitor Internationale Handel en Logistiek’ (Monitor for International Trade and Logistics) by the evofenedex business association and credit insurer Atradius. Over 40% of these companies had higher turnover rates, but their profits remained unchanged or even decreased.
Because demand is rising faster than supply, global trade is under pressure. The lack of resources makes things more difficult, too. Bart Jan Koopman, director of evofenedex, explained:
“The high demand leads to higher costs and longer delivery times, among other things. Disruptions currently hit the import sector harder than the export sector. 4 out of 5 employees suffer disruptions in their supply chain. The lack of resources and semi-manufactured products like chips are listed as the key issue (57 percent).”
Staffing issues also continue to plague the logistics sector. The corona pandemic is still causing peaks in absenteeism.
On top of that, the ongoing shortage of qualified personnel, like warehouse staff and drivers, remains a challenge. Recently, worrying statistics were released about this through the rapport Kostenontwikkelingen in het Wegvervoer 2022 (report on Cost Developments in the Road Transport Sector 2022). Through various investments in the logistics sector, companies hope to attract and keep qualified personnel.
Importing from China continues to be the biggest challenge. The unexpected lockdowns, the persistent lack of capacity, port congestion and blank sailings remain commonplace. These factors combined have a seriously disruptive impact on the reliability of sailing plans.
On top of that, the limited possibilities for physical visits make discussions about new business ventures and opportunities difficult. Despite the available, modern means of communication, doing business virtually is still a struggle.
Innovation and development
Is it all bad? Absolutely not. Importers are inventive folks and are already looking for alternative options. For example, they are gathering larger reserves at local distribution centres, and looking for production venues closer to home.
On top of that, terminals will also start considering possible innovations. Ships are becoming ever larger, so they have to adapt, too. The container cranes as we know them have barely changed over the past decades. In coming years, product developers will start responding to the latest developments. This will result in adjusted or entirely new container crane varieties. The aim is to make congestion more manageable in the future.
Are you curious how Ritra Cargo can help entrepreneurs like you?
Our experienced team is here to help you with all your shipments. Sea freight or air freight. Together, we will look for the most suitable options. Feel free to contact us for more, non-binding information.
Source: press release evofenedex – Monitor Internationale Handel en Logistiek november 2021
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