As you are all no doubt aware there are a number of challenges with logistics and supply chain matters at the moment along with various regional restrictions effecting the ability of businesses to operate. For those of us operating as importers and exporters it is proving especially challenging to navigate. I thought it might be helpful to share some insight given our hobby is dependent on imports from China.
Brands and distributors are continuing to operate in China and the likes of DAM have been particularly busy of late as you have seen. Shipping from China is a bit of a mess at the moment given there is a scarcity of air cargo availability due to airlines shutting down or operating with vastly reduced capacity. Shipping costs have gone up as the likes of Fedex can no longer leverage airlines for their economy international options and they are having to rely on their own cargo capacity. I’m currently seeing wait times of 1-2 weeks before Fedex can get anything released from China as they are understandably overwhelmed and have to prioritize goods. Other carriers are likewise challenged as every major brand, retailer, and government is providing more demand than there is supply for air cargo.
USPS and other postal operators have shut down air services for international shipments due to the lack of air cargo availability. The postal operators of many countries are changing their restrictions regularly and some have started refusing non-essential goods. If you are ordering goods online I would recommend you check the postal advisory update pages of the postal operators for both the sending and receiving country to see if routes remain open, as well as the courier company if they are handling transport rather than a postal operator. The risk of parcels being abandoned or going missing is at it’s highest when postal operators are forced to declare they can not meet UPU service commitments due to large scale disruptions like this. Be sure to be aware of any deadlines for making claims while allowing extra time for delivery.
As for myself I am now back to operating normally for US and Canadian orders, albeit with some changes to order processing for US shipments as we now have to route packages through a forwarding transporter across the border rather than handling that ourselves. Cross border traffic between the US and Canada is now closed to individual importers and exporters. For shipping locations outside of North America I am not shipping to resume shipping until postal operators here are able to resume normal air services. Like many areas we have been besieged here with a number of regulations and guidance from multiple levels of government and things are changing constantly.
Hope everyone is doing well and keeping safe!