Business

Important Products On ‘Shelf Life’ As Delays Continue: Batiweti

Another issue that the shipping companies are facing in these countries is finding drivers to drive trucks to deliver the containers to the warehouses of the importers and/or exporters
20 Oct 2021 14:11
Important Products On ‘Shelf Life’ As Delays Continue: Batiweti
Shipping industry plays an important role in Fiji’s supply chain. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The shelf life of important products is “ticking,” as ships continue to be delayed from international ports.

While shipping delays are being experienced globally because of the pandemic, the impact to Fiji felt in major retail outlets.

Fiji commerce and employers’ federation chief executive officer, Kameli Batiweti said there is a danger that stock may run out before ships arrive to replenish the warehouses.

Mr Batiweti further added that these delays, and the variables causing it, would mean that the pacific islands will be at the receiving end of the play by the big countries.

“prior to the pandemic hitting the global supply chain, the key term for trading was just in time.’ this has now changed to ‘just in case.’

“it is all about planning, planning and more planning. Companies are revisiting their business continuity plans (bcp) continually to ensure that their stocks arrive, and that their businesses survive during this shipping crisis.”

 

Supply chain

With Fiji’s reliance on importation of goods, shipping plays a vital component to the country’s supply chain.

Mr Batiweti said: “unfortunately, the delays are beyond everyone’s control and no one in Fiji should be blamed for these delays.

“we just need to “play the cards dealt to us,” and look for opportunities and efficiencies that can be gained from collaboration with our Vuvale partners by way of the Australian and New Zealand governments.”

There were also reports of ships at larger ports, lined up for several weeks to find a slot to berth and unload.

 

Causes of delay

He said one of the causes is covid safe restrictions that were in place in these countries, where there are not enough workers to offload ships.

“Another issue that the shipping companies are facing in these countries is finding drivers to drive trucks to deliver the containers to the warehouses of the importers and/or exporters.

“Some of these drivers were infected by the virus and some have passed on, resulting in a shortage of drivers.

“It is one thing to deliver full containers to warehouses and it is another thing to pick up the empty containers to deliver it to the wharf to have it shipped back to the originating country, for the cycle to continue.

“These are just three issues, amongst the many that are causing these delays around the world,” he said.

Mr Batiweti is urging retailers to treat the current situation as the new normal as it is only a matter of time before stocks will be affected.

Feedback:  laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

 



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