Shipping Update 2021

“Our thoughts are with you in these trying times.” I am about sick of that kind of language, aren’t you? I am supposed to be sharing a very professional message from our president, ” Please be aware that we are experiencing longer than normal lead time due to an international shipping crisis. Your patience is appreciated.”

Picture of an Evergreen ship

Hm. Let’s just be real for a second, Covid has sucked and the repercussions are still hitting us. It seems like everyday is another shrug and “well, why the heck not.” kinda situation. SNAFU is becoming everyone’s life in manufacturing on a whole new level, right?

Not only are there news stories abounding about plastics shortages and chip manufactures not being able to keep up, but all sorts of tales of woe about vessels needing unloaded or freight companies not being able to find drivers.

Oh, but haven’t you heard there is going to be a strike at a major port in Canada? Well, why the heck not? Ugh.

Logistics is a very convoluted web on a good day, but currently I picture it as a big scribble and then maybe some X’s through it for good measure.

Now, at Flex-Line we have never been all about the JIT inventory trend, but we have to admit a year of shipping upsets has messed with our inventory and we are working with all of our suppliers to keep stock levels up or find drop-ins for things where we can. It is just crazy right now.

Truthfully, every time I get a quote back now I feel like I am on a twisted version of Whose Line Is It Anyway where the lead times don’t matter and the shipping dates are just made up.

We are trying to be honest when we quote you. We really, really are; but then a freighter gets stuck sitting in a port for six weeks without being unloaded and all we can do is pull our hair and send very strongly worded emails/calls to our poor vendors who can’t do anything but take it. Mel has gone full Karen a few times ya’ll. It ain’t pretty.

We are just as frustrated as you are, probably even moreso; and we (and all of our vendors) are doing absolutely everything we can.

And we really do appreciate your patience. Like, really, really.