We all are well aware Ramadan is one of the busiest times in Middle Eastern countries. While the work hours become lesser, a surge in shopping, online and in-store, is observed during the period. If you are looking to make the most of this, then it is important that your product supply is enough to meet the increasing demands of the period, in this article we bring you tips for effective logistics management during Ramadan.
Top Tips For Logistics Management During Ramadan
Ship Well Before Time –
Though the holy month of Ramadan sees shorter working hours, lesser business activity (in most cases), the shopping appetite of people increases during this time – therefore, one needs to ensure that there is absolutely no shortage of their products in the market, or they can lose customers and revenues to their competitors.
If you choose sea freight, LCL or FCL, to ship your goods internationally to countries observing the holy month of Ramadan, then it is advised you plan it well in advance, for your goods to reach the destination country well before the starting of Ramadan, at least a week before.
If air freight is your choice, obviously it will be faster, but it is still advised that you have your goods reach their destination well in advance.
Why Ship In Advance?
- Ensure Enough Inventory in the Market: As mentioned earlier, shipping well in advance ensures you have enough inventory in the market and do not go out of stock during peak sales. Purchasing activity increases in the Middle Eastern countries during this period and not having enough stocks would be very unfortunate.
- Lesser Business Activity: Many countries observing Ramadan, work for lesser hours during the fasting month, this means, the business activities become slower. This includes several logistics companies, customs agents and brokers and shipping companies working for lesser hours – therefore, the work builds up, but working hours are lesser – leading to overload and delays.
- Shorter Hours for Custom Clearance: In several countries observing Ramadan, the customs authority, like other businesess, also see shorter working hours, due to which there could be delay in the clearance process at the port.
- Reduced Capacity at Ports and Junctions: At the time of Ramadan, there is a high possibility of congestion at the ports due to reduced activity and unavailability of personnel at the ports. Also, during the Eid-Al-Fitr holidays countries observe 3 to 6 days long holidays and almost all business activities come to a halt.
- Shipping Rates Could Be Higher: Everyone wants to take advantage of having their products available in the Middle Eastern markets during Ramadan, therefore the demand for space in the shipping lines, air lines as well as roadways increases, leading to an increase in the shipping rates around the time of Ramadan
- Demurrage, Damage and Delays – Since the working hours at the customs offices reduce, your freight processing may take more time than expected. This could attract demurrage charges, damage or loss of goods and even delays to your consignment.
Therefore, to ensure smooth sailing and to encash the huge opportunities in the Middle Eastern markets, you should have an effective logistics management during Ramadan, especially international shipping.
Make an Inventory Storage Plan –
Businesses like yours who have shipped goods in advance owing to the increased shopping appetite, now need to plan on storing and distribution of their inventory in order to be prompt in the market. Goods usually move faster in this period, appointing a warehousing provider who can be on their toes for storage, distribution and reverse logistics should be on top of your mind. While you may already be having a warehouse service provider, during this time, you will require more storage space than usual, in such case, you can either have your existing service provider provide you more space, if not, you will have to look for another third party warehouse provider, like ProConnect Integrated Logistics, for a few months.
If your products are sold online and in-store, managing their distribution and reverse logistics becomes a crucial part. As there will be an increase in orders, there will also be increase in returns. Having a third-party logistics handle your inventory can prove to be fruitful for you.
Why Have An Inventory Plan In Place?
- Product Availability: This ensures you do not lose your business to your competitors due to non-availability of stock at the right time and right place. With a proper inventory plan, you can judge well in advance if your stocks need to be refilled and can have enough time at hand to do the needful.
- Effective Distribution and Returns: A third party warehouse service provider has better experience, knowledge, expertise and infrastructure to cater to the increased customer demands with prompt delivery and returns management mechanism in place.
- Customer Satisfaction: While there maybe delays in delivery during Ramadan, excessive delays could prove to be harmful. With extensive competition within the e-commerce landscape, effective and fast delivery is a key point to gain customer satisfaction – keeping your customers delighted is always the best.
ProConnect Integrated Logistics As Your Logistics Partner
Ramadan is right around the corner, ensure you are prepared for this festive season and make the most of it. A third party logistics provider, like us, can help you with end-to-end logistics solution and prepare you for the best outcomes. We have the required infrastructure, manpower and expertise to help you sail smoothly during the period. Contact us today!