What To Do When Your Product Is Stuck On A Cargo Ship

Your product is stuck on a cargo ship while you push back yet another deadline and employees scramble to address customer complaints.

If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. This has been the experience of companies across the globe for months as supply chain disruptions like the Suez Canal blockages, unprecedented weather events, and COVID 19-related issues slow down shipping times and drive up costs.

As the country takes desperate measures to speed up container turnover at ports, like the now 24/7 operating Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, what can you do to take matters into your own hands?

First, let’s look at how current conditions negatively impact international supply chains – making domestic suppliers and distributors of like Ohio-based Kent Elastomer Products (KEP) the smarter choice for manufacturers reviewing and optimizing their supply chain resources.

What first catches their attention is that KEP is the only maker of natural rubber latex tubing in the United States – as well as being a domestic supplier of TPE and PVC products for medical, dental, orthodontics, food and beverage and other industries.

Procurement managers everywhere need only look at the latest catastrophic news on global shipping price hikes and delays to recognize new benefits for securing domestic suppliers like KEP, who have demonstrated through it’s proactive services and authoritative papers a thorough understanding of procurement challenges – and solutions.

Rising Costs, Slower Lead Times

How did we get here? The new hard truth is this: the cost of international shipping has become unmanageable in the face of the supply chain inefficiencies, COVID-19 pandemic and other uncontrollable factors.

No one knows how long it will be before costs stabilize – and even then costs will be high. Since raising consumer prices is only a partial – and unpopular – solution, proactive companies are shifting to domestic shipping models.

One example of a company well positioned to eliminate or reduce global shipping headaches is Kent Elastomer Products (KEP). Founded in 1960, the company has thrived as the sole U.S. manufacturer of natural rubber latex tubing and an industry leader in providing custom solutions and customer service to medical, surgical, and other industries. Unlike more commodity based suppliers, KEP has succeeded for more than six decades by positioning itself as a partner to help clients solve engineering, operations, compliance and other service challenges.

This has served KEP well for these many decades – especially in the face of the most recent spikes in international shipping problems, such as:

The Numbers

  • According to The Wall Street Journal, since September 2019, the weekly spot price to ship a 40-foot cargo container from China to the U.S. west coast increased from $1,437 to $20,586.
  • Diesel fuel costs are up 25%.
  • Carrier capacity is projected to decrease to 60-65% of commitments – putting a further drag on global shipping.

Take Back Control

Some things are beyond the control of even the best procurement managers. Like never before, forecasting and planning must account for wild, unpredictable fluctuation in the global market. These increased demands means more pressure than ever on companies to proactively outwit the threat of product shortages.

Here’s the urgent challenge: How can you take back control of your distribution and lead times? Reevaluate your supply chain – every link – and determine what can be reassigned to a domestic source.

Shorter lead times and lower costs help you stand out from competitors. You will be able to confidently offer quick, reliable services that consumers and partners demand.

Domestic Production and Shipping

International supply chain challenges coupled with the global silicone tubing shortages has companies searching for ways to keep business moving. Time is money. Don’t wait for your product to cross the ocean.

Switching to a domestic shipping model reduces risk and fluctuation for a more stable, reliable, and consistent supply chain.

Over nearly six decades of success, KEP has remained a stable source for medical, surgical, and other industries throughout dozens of supply chain disruptions. We promise those ingredients for success – efficiency and reliability – to our customers.

How can KEP help?



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