How to Deal with a Blank or Void Sailing

How to Deal with a Blank or Void Sailing

If you recently received bad news about a blank sailing – we’re sorry. They can be incredibly frustrating for shippers, especially when an ocean shipment is time sensitive. Cargo that’s left sitting can cost additional time and money you didn’t intent to spend, so it’s no doubt why blank sailings are a big deal for U.W. – based shippers.

If a blank sailing recently hit your company, you’re probably being left stuck to find a plan B. If that’s the case, here are a few tips on how you can deal with a blank or void sailing:

Dealing with a Blank or Void Sailing: Tips

The deed is done – your cargo isn’t going to its destination when you had expected. Now what?

Being hit by a blank or void sailing means you’ll be left to find other options for getting your cargo overboard, as well as reducing the amount of time, resources, and money it will take to do so. Here are a few tips on dealing with blank or void sailings:

Talk with Your Forwarder About Options

You don’t know the full picture if you haven’t been around a blank sailing before. Freight forwarders are working with tons of carriers and steamship lines, meaning they will have pretty clear ideas on the schedule for ocean vessels.

Having a blank sailing means you’ll need to reschedule your shipment. Sometimes additional vessels may be departing to your destination shortly afterwards, and other times there may be significant time gaps between departures. So talk with your freight forwarder about vessel and departure options. Meet with your team to decide maximum deadlines and figure out which solution will work best.

Consider Different Shipping Modes

There’s a reason you chose ocean shipping in the first place – we get it. Ocean shipping is (usually) reliable, cost-effective, and overall an easy process. However, in the even of a void sailing, you may need to consider different shipping modes.

If it is at all possible for you cargo, talk with your forwarder about the steps it would take to transfer you ocean cargo to an airline. This will be entirely dependent on the size and weight of your shipment, shipping deadlines, budget, and a variety of other factors. But if you need to get your cargo overseas ASAP and no additional ocean carriers are traveling to your destination within your deadline, it may be your only option.

Wrapping It Up

There’s not a ton that can be done with blank sailings – they’re out of your and your forwarder’s control. However, when they happen, you should be proactive about finding the necessary solution to keep your freight en route to its destination. Firstly, talk with your freight forwarder about options. Are other vessels departing to your destination shortly after, or will there be a long gap until the nest departure? Consult with your team to figure out your latest possible deadline and decide if waiting for the next available ocean vessel is an option.

If not, consider additional shipping modes. Air freight, while more expensive, may be the only option to get your cargo to its destination on time. If so, talk with your freight forwarder about all the necessary steps to transfer your cargo to an air carrier!

If you have any questions about a recent blank or void sailing, reach out to a team member at Interlog! We’ve seen these plenty of times and have helped customers find the best solution for their timelines and budgets. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!


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