3rd Party Freight Delivery Delays: What We’re Doing & What You Can Do

Posted on February 17th, 2021

The LTL freight industry in the U.S.A. is experiencing particularly challenging times at the moment. Port backups and container shortages along with various COVID-related issues at terminals and third-party warehouses have resulted in some unforeseen delays, and some pallets of coffee have not been arriving by their usual estimated delivery date. We have also noticed that at certain times, transit updates are not being populated correctly in their systems when using your PRO# for tracking. We have found this is the case even with our most reliable partners and have heard from other industry colleagues this is an issue across the board at the moment for all pallet deliveries.

With the current growth in online shopping, many carriers are experiencing unprecedented volumes. Your coffee is shipped alongside Amazon packages and countless other items being moved across the United States, and those full trucks also cause delays. Combine that with a shortage of truck drivers (for COVID- and non-COVID-related reasons), as well as  trucking terminals having to halt processing to administer COVID-safe practices, and you end up with a lot of backed-up freight.

We understand all too well the urgent need for coffee bags showing up on time at your roastery. In essence, our LTL partners are an extension of our company: They are the final hands touching your coffee and are part of the customer experience working with us. We hope these LTL delays are resolved soon, but unfortunately we don’t have an exact roadmap from these carriers on when to expect normal delivery times to resume. We are working diligently with all of our carriers to see what we can do to ensure timely delivery. 

A few things we have done in the short term:

  1. We have arranged to have empty trucks held over at our facility, to be loaded up early to ensure no pickups are missed.
  2. We have researched alternative routes and carriers in certain areas that seem to be particularly affected.
  3. We have chosen to not work with certain providers that have not been able to communicate effectively with us during these challenging times.

The biggest things we recommend doing right now:

  1. ADD A DAY! We have looked at the difference between shipping times currently and where they were a year ago, and the average increase is one day. If you’re used to ordering on a Wednesday and getting your shipment on a Friday, consider ordering on Tuesday instead. Of course, if you can add more than a day and have the space for the delivery, we are always ready to wrap and strap pallets!
  2. LET US KNOW!  We will always do whatever we can to find where your shipment is and help get it to you in as timely a manner as possible.

We will provide any additional updates as we get them from our carrier partners, and we appreciate your patience and understanding while this gets resolved—hopefully sooner than later.

Thank you for the continued partnership with Cafe Imports!