September 29, 2021

We wanted our family to be aware of some serious challenges in the supply chain right now. We are seeing fairly major delays in getting products into the US warehouses, and it is difficult to pinpoint the source or even the main reason this is occurring. What we do know is that the challenges are being seen in every part of the supply chain.

The factories are backed up, seemingly partly due to Covid-related challenges. Production, both in North American and Asian factories, has been much slower than is typical. Then there are major delays in getting those goods, once they are produced, into containers and ready to ship to the warehouses.

In fact, within the past few months there was a time when major Asian ports actually ran out of containers to ship goods with! If there are not containers, they cannot be filled up with goods and shipped, so that caused major delays.

Once goods are loaded and ship out, there are also long delays in the shipping lanes, where cargo ships have to wait in line, seeing long delays while they wait for congestion to clear out. And then when they do arrive to the US port, they are seeing huge delays there as well, waiting even to get into the port to unload for up to 3 weeks!

The congestion at the ports and in the shipping lanes is linked with US businesses trying to restock after they had to let their inventory fall sharply during peak Covid season. Now that they all want to restock at the same time, the supply chain simply can't keep up.

Finally, once the items eventually do arrive to the US warehouses, after all this waiting and all these delays, we are seeing the extra freight shipments crushing the freight carriers, companies like R&L Carriers and YRC. Some of these carriers are handling the extra pressures and workload better than others, and we are only using the carriers who are handling this well. But all of them are facing delays and are scrambling to keep up with the extra work.

We wanted our customers to be aware of all this, so that you know what's going on if you order something and it takes a week or two longer than is typical. We are not ignoring you; in fact, we are working tirelessly to get orders shipped out and to our customers as quickly and efficiently as possible. But certain things are out of our control, and this major supply chain challenge is one of those things.

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