Business challenges in the current climate

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!


Hello … thank you for this very clear explanation of the current situation … I think we just have to wait for it to come back in order in the coming weeks … i hope :yum: :yum:

Yes…thank you very much for sharing these informations!

So, stay safe!

Patience will be key. The lack of passenger airline flights is the big killer as postal operators depend on them to move their items. Routes between some country pairings will normalize sooner while other country pairings will remain closed or limited for a longer period. It is really going to depend on how many flights resume operating between a given country pairing. Each postal operator is handling things differently depending on their situation, some are trying to redirect air volume to sea while others are just cutting off routes to some countries entirely.

Couriers such as DHL, UPS, and Fedex are alternative options worth considering depending on the item and costs. EMS is an expedited air service offered (sometimes rebranded) by the global postal operators and often mentioned along with those courier companies as it is intended to compete with them. However EMS relies on passenger airlines for transport and is effected as other postal service classes for a given country.

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Internationally, in particular Korea, the post office does not accept packages to most countries! US and Canada, no registered packages, ONLY EMS. To Japan, EMS to two cities, Osaka and Tokyo. Italy, they just started accepting package via registered mail just last week! Before…No packages to Italy since Mar.

This whole Covid 19 has put the world upside down… Sales on Eb*y have been up, I guess it is because people have nothing to do except bash, but I have no option but to cancel the order or unless they are willing to wait months, because the post office does not accept packages to their respective countries. Very frustrating…

Japan is a good example of how the current shipping availability can be quite puzzling at the moment due to the airline routes available. They cut off shipping to the US other than sea shipments but are still air shipping to Canada. Similar patterns with their shipping throughout Europe. If you are selling all you can pretty much do is block the individual destinations as different postal operators make changes but there is a lot of stuff that is getting stuck as changes happen while packages are still in transit. Is John still able to ship from the Philippines by courier at least?

The amount of money that is being lost at the moment due to all the shipping restrictions must be a huge number, even more so with the inability for many to get stock. A good example of that is my main tv went out a couple of weeks back and most of yearly model changeover is happening now. Nobody had stock of the new incoming models as everything is delayed and most retailers have a small handful of tvs other than returns or demos. It wasn’t the inconvenience of trying to buy something that stuck out but I am very familiar of what sort of monthly revenue these chains do in categories like this and what they are paying for their store leases. The losses are going to be staggering if this continues like we expect.

I see your plight Adam. Philippines…they are at total lockdown. The post office…what post office?! He has had packages piled up since March, when the lockdown happened. Luckily his workers can come to work now. They relaxed that on April 30th. Before this, Jon had to work by himself doing everything, which has lead to a lot of delays, not that it matters because the post office is closed until May the 15th…LOL!

But when the PO opens, I am afraid that a lot of countries we have to mail to they won’t accept packages.

This catastrophe has caused the world trillions of dollars…