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By Noelle Brooks

Ordering Early Can Prevent Disaster. Picture of red and blue shipping containers stacked in a shipping yard.

As any marketer knows, the key to an effective campaign is planning. Addressing each component in advance minimizes complications that can ruin an otherwise fantastic campaign. This is particularly the case when ordering promotional products. Waiting last minute to get these items may mean losing an effective marketing strategy. Below are examples of what can complicate the ordering process:

Industry Shifts

The world’s seventh largest container shipping line, Hanjin Shipping Co, filed for bankruptcy as of September 2016. This decision prevented $14 billion worth of goods entry to ports.  This company also handles 8% of the U.S. market’s trade-Pacific volume and about 3% globally. Hanjin’s dissolution severely impacts inter-Asia trade and could lead to more complications in the months to come.

A similar catastrophe occurred in 2014 when West Coast dockworkers went on strike. These ports were integral to trade between the U.S. and Asia, causing massive delays and financial losses. The months of contention negatively affected the retail economy, which has yet to fully recover.

Such shifts are largely unpredictable and potentially devastating. The best way to combat these issues is with proactive planning. This makes early ordering crucial.


Disasters can strike without warning and the devastation they leave behind can be extensive. The ripple effects can also continue long past the actual disaster, disrupting infrastructures in unpredictable ways. Ordering in advance can help avoid these frustrating pitfalls.

Other Considerations

In addition to these uncontrollable circumstances, ordering early can also offset setbacks related to design, inventory availability or shifts in preferences. Sometimes the first choice for a design or product may not be the best one. Perhaps the quantity needed changes or the chosen product doesn’t actually appeal to your client base. The sooner you order, the easier it is to make adjustments accordingly without disrupting campaign timelines.
Also, international suppliers have their own shifts and seasonal changes. For example, Chinese New Year is quickly approaching. China is a huge international supplier for promotional products, often able to provide large quantities at low costs. Because of this, it’s best to order large volume items as early as five to eight months in advance to minimize potential delays.

Choice Premiums can offer solutions when issues arise. The more notice we have, the more we can help. Even if you are unsure of what you need, we can provide guidance to make sure your campaign is a marketing success.

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