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On-time, on-purpose.

On-time delivery is critical to a company’s efficiency and service reputation in any industry. Customers want to receive their goods as soon as possible in today’s instant culture. That’s why the final touch point in the supply chain represents your ability to efficiently fulfill your customer’s needs. Small businesses must deliver products on time, as a good reputation is essential to customer loyalty – and ultimately your bottom line.  

Why is On-Time Delivery Important?

Whether you’re delivering directly to customers or to businesses, delayed shipments are damaging. Late deliveries slow down supply chains and hurt customer relationships. In fact, it is thought that around 20% may not shop with a retailer again after receiving one late shipment. In the same survey, around 50% wouldn’t shop with a retailer after two or more late deliveries.  

High-level service is no longer optional, with more competitors appearing in the market and increasing customers’ demands. If you don’t adjust to the market’s needs, you will fall behind. There are many ways for small businesses to deliver a positive customer experience.

Common Reasons for Delayed Deliveries

Knowing how to have efficient deliveries is essential, especially during the peak season. However, it’s also good to know the common reasons for delayed deliveries to avoid them in the future.  


Technology is changing the face of logistics – but it’s not always perfect. Technology can help you stay on track and enable your customers to watch their packages as they are shipped and delivered. But the reverse can also be true when things go wrong. Technology must be paired appropriately to work together comprehensively for companies and 3PLs.

Unsuccessful Delivery Attempts

When there is a delayed delivery, it’s not necessarily the driver’s fault. The customer can also be at fault when they aren’t around to sign for the delivery. Without a signature, some packages must stay with the driver. Drivers can’t wait for the customer since they must move on to the next delivery and ensure the entire process keeps moving.

Peak Shipping Season

The peak shipping season occurs during the holiday shopping season, so everyone orders gifts and expects their packages to come as soon as possible. Companies get overwhelmed and must keep up with the demand for orders. Planning and having the proper staffing during the holiday season can ensure you’re prepared and avoid delays.

How to ensure on time delivery?

Estimate Dwell Time at Your Facility

Dwell time is how long a driver must wait at your facility or location, which is very important. If the dwell time is too long, the driver must take an extra day to arrive at the destination due to hours-of-service rules. Consider whether your stock could be stored at your logistics partner’s facilities to minimise disruption.

Lean on 3PL Expertise

Small businesses mostly rely on themselves in every aspect of running the company. However, this may be a problem as you may not have the expertise in-house to manage your supply chain. Some businesses work with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to eliminate shipping delays and other disruptions. Some 3PLs have proprietary technology and a large carrying capacity to assist your business, like SAE Logistics. These resources enable visibility into your transportation process and are pre-qualified for safety and security, so you will experience less frequent disruptions. A 3PL’s expertise will help you increase shipment speed and reliability and reduce costs. Also, it will take care of transporting your goods while you focus on other core competencies.

Always Inform Customers of Late Deliveries

While warning customers of an anticipated disruption won’t stop the shipment from being delayed, it can mitigate the negative impact on reputation and perceived service. When your customers are made aware of a delay in shipping, they can make plans to notify their customers or prepare to receive the shipment at a different date, reducing the inefficiencies on their end.

Ultimately, a good planning strategy and tracking technology will be of benefit.

For more information on how SAE can help you achieve the delivery schedule you need, contact us today.