World Maritime Day is celebrated every year, on the last Thursday of September. It is founded by the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The purpose of it is to bring awareness to the importance of the maritime industry, as it strongly supports the global economy. It also emphasizes the importance of maritime security, maritime environment, and maritime shipment.
Seafarers at the core of shipping’s future
This year, World Maritime Day will take place on the 30th of September, under the theme Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future. This title reflects the need to raise awareness of the maritime workers’ vital role in global trade. Furthermore, it highlights their status as essential workers both in ordinary times and during the Coronavirus crisis. This should bring more attention to their well-being and working conditions.
“The focus on seafarers comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary and unprecedented demands on seafarers. Hundreds of thousands faced and are still facing extended sea times, going months at sea without seeing families and loved ones.”International Maritime Organisation
World Maritime Day highlights the present shipping crisis
One of the reasons why this happened is that the restrictions put in place in order to keep the pandemic under control created backlogs for cargo ships, especially in China, the largest exporter. Many ports were closed and others faced new harsher protocols for both import and export.
In addition, the demand for goods has soared this year, as many people reacquired some of their pre-pandemic habits. As CNN reports, the acquisition of clothing, electronic devices, and home appliances has especially soared.
Not to mention the Suez Ship crisis that took place in March and disrupted a considerable number of shipments.
All of these factors created major holdups and unparalleled pressure in the maritime shipping industry. The first major consequence of this is that the price of booking or buying a shipping container has skyrocketed.
Also, as mentioned before, seafarers had to work in harsher conditions and for extended amounts of time. Because experts in the container industry don’t foresee any positive changes in the near future, seafarers will continue to operate under pressure. That is why the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day helps bring awareness to their hardships. Their efforts must be recognized and their rights respected.
So what should you learn for this year’s World Maritime Day?
For one, we recommend that small and medium merchants look into ways to limit the risk of delays and financial losses. Importing goods from overseas increases the chance of your orders not being delivered on time. We suggest you orientate towards more local suppliers. The advantage would be that you can more easily prevent unexpected costs and waiting times.
Searching for multiple suppliers for the same products is also more necessary than ever. Having an alternative supplier handy – in case your main one presents you with deliverability problems – should not just be something nice to have. It should be the foundation of your backup plan.
Another consequence is that visibility in the providers’ supply chain will become more important. This has to do with the processes that take place before the goods you ordered get to your own supplier. With regards to avoiding second-order issues, you could look into systems that oversee the entire delivery process. This can help you can gain a clear view of the whole journey of your expected goods. The goal is that you can make well-informed decisions regarding managing your supply chain.
The maritime shipping industry finds itself in a difficult and unprecedented situation that affects all stakeholders. Everyone in the process – from producers to final distributors must be cautious and take safety measures. For this, a proactive mindset is necessary along with the capacity to find solutions ahead of time.
Technology might prove very helpful in such cases. With the right software and equipment, almost anything can be tracked. Merchants should look into ways to monitor their stock and orders so that they can prevent inconveniences along the way.
If your business experienced problems due to the shipping crisis, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are always open to discuss such issues and find ways to help our clients.
Ștefania Bulgaru is a Digital Marketer for Megaventory, the online inventory management system that can help medium-sized companies synchronize stock over multiple stores. She believes that good communication can solve almost any problem and she likes to stay up to date with the latest digital marketing technologies.