What are the New Trends of Cross-border Shipping in 2023?
What Happened in 2022
2022 is drawing to a close. In this turbulent year, the cross-border shipping has been under constant and drastic changes, taking a toll on every practitioner. In addition to changes in the structure of the merchant fleet, 2022 also witnessed adjustments in capacity deployment and, more often than not, massive port delays around the world, rendering all the third-party fulfillment providers helpless.
Unexpected port closures caused by Covid-19, severe shortages of port workers and truck drivers, and crews fidgeting on board with no opportunity to go ashore were all too common around the globe, marking themselves as the true signs of the times.
Worse even, extended unloading times at ports have contributed to container shortages and rocketing freight rates.
Overall, 2022 was anything but peaceful.
Although 2023 has just kicked off, we already sense some trends forming
5 Trends that Await us All in 2023
- Lowered shipping cost
The surging shipping costs for the past year are finally behind us, to the relief of countless retailers. Based on the Freightos Baltic Index, a global container freight index, the cross-border shipping cost per container was $3,429 last year, reduced from $10,396 in the same period of 2021, thanks to the increase in shipping capacity .
Shipping container backlog is also lowering around the globe. So, despite the possible disruption in the supply chain in 2023, dropping container costs and fewer backlogs would highly contribute to the lowered shipping rates for retail brands and consumers alike.
- Readjusted strategies and elastic fulfillment solutions
Retailers are forced to re-evaluate their cross-border shipping strategies to solve the new and old supply-chain issues better. The faster a retailer resort to fresh solutions, rather than keep relying on tested methods, the better it fits in with these more adaptable strategies.
But, rethinking a different cross-border shipping strategy means something other than revolutionizing or reinventing the whole wheel. The key to better managing challenges is to remain flexible. As the situation still remains unstable and unpredictable, agility and flexibility have been increasingly the determining factors for brands to consider.
- Environmentally friendly deliveries & sustainable packaging
Speed is not the only thing that customers are concerned about today, as the influence of their purchasing habits on the environment has also become an important consideration. People wonder what their carbon footprint is like, and which measures they can take to reduce it. That’s why those brands that attach importance to environmentally friendly deliveries and sustainable packaging gain more favors from consumers with the same mindsets.
- Transparency in delivery times
Customers expect clarity about delivery times in cross-border shipping, so that they can arrange their businesses accordingly and, if anything happens, make timely adjustments. Should brands keep their customers in the dark, they are actually putting their good relationships with customers at risk and forcing them to go elsewhere.
In one word, transparency is about trust, which serves as a basis for future sales, not just the sales itself.
In 2023, building trust and transparency is critical to maintaining healthy, ongoing and long-term customer relationships to offset the industry’s current challenges.
- Switch from a just-in-time to just-in-case inventory management model
While offering your brand flexibility in uncertainties, the just-in-time inventory management model has been losing appeal for not guaranteeing inventory levels during peak seasons, which can be risky.
The last-minute tactics are only sometimes sustainable, and shifting of inventory management strategies is in order. For example, a ‘just-in-case’ model allows brands to appease emergencies and respond to more supply chain setbacks. Operating with more robust inventory levels contributes to the overcome of supply chain obstacles as well as the integrity of fulfillment channels.
Where to Go in 2023
No one can guarantee the situation in 2023, nor can one make accurate predictions about the future situation. But, by studying and analyzing the possible cross-border shipping trends, you are at least aware of where you should be heading to.
As we move into 2023 together, Yun Fulfillment has prepared ourselves for the upcoming changes, and will continue to offer the best services to all our customers.
 Freightos Baltic Index (FBX): Global Container Freight Index
Available at: https://fbx.freightos.com/