Why Is My Garden Furniture Delayed?
Huge lack of UK HGV drivers exacerbates the delay issues - Latest Update 22/07/21
There is currently a HGV driver shortage - this shortage currently stands at 100,000. This shortage is a combination of multiple factors such as the pandemic creating a backlog of driving tests. It is almost impossible to get enough newly qualified drivers up and running. HGV drivers are responsible for transporting just about everything across the country! The repercussions of this is that goods and stock are being heavily delayed across the UK. The Road Haulage Association estimates about 30,000 HGV driving tests were lost last year because of the pandemic.
The RHA are working to push some fixes to the government however the RHA Chief Executive states that this does not help companies out in the short-term. This crisis is happening now on top of everything else that has caused delays for the past 18 months. Many companies across the country are struggling to maintain their stock levels and fulfil customer’s orders. To put this in perspective here at JB Furniture we are awaiting a number of containers from our main supplier Bramblecrest. They are at the docks waiting to be transported however two of these have been there since the 20th June. We endeavour to always give our customers top class customer service even throughout these trying and frustrating times. However, this new crisis is making it very difficult for many companies, like ourselves, to supply stock in-line with customer demand.
Garden Furniture Delays - Latest Update 16/06/21
In Guangdong, China there has been a recent outbreak of COVID-19. This has led to a closure of docks and shipments being delayed. As a result of this it has now caused traffic jams in front of what is known as the ‘workshop of the world’. This has increased the problems that we and many other companies have faced throughout the last year.
The issues in Guangdong are just the latest in a long list of setbacks. There has been an exponential increase in demand for garden furniture due to the pandemic. On top of this in March we faced the backlash from the Suez Canal incident. These problems then create a ripple effect and can cause long lasting delays. To put this into perspective there are currently 25 million containers that are in the wrong place worldwide.
The Yantian International Container Terminal is one of several ports in the Shenzhen region. Together they form a crucial gateway for exports from the Pearl River Delta, which is a major Chinese centre for manufacturing. Since late May, the Yantian terminal has been functioning at a fraction of its normal capacity, this is due to restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19. On top of this the Chinese government has mandated a strict quarantine of 10,000 drivers. Consequently, this has caused severe congestion with several ships waiting outside the port!
In the early stages of the pandemic last year many companies, like us at JB Furniture, saw an increase in customer demand like never before. This shift in demand caused an issue with companies struggling to get their hands on any containers. Then along came the Suez Canal blockage in March, when this busy canal closed it delayed hundreds of ships. We are still experiencing the consequences of that today. When the canal finally reopened it then had a knock-on effect at other ports, such as Rotterdam, creating even more congestion.
The wish is that the situation in Yantian will be resolved as quickly as possible, but experts warn it will lead to a flood in shipments which could cause further congestion elsewhere. For us at JB Furniture this creates a ripple effect that will affect Christmas. As demand continues at a steady rate there is still a shortage of containers which pushes back when we can expect our products.
Like the whole industry, we too are facing the well documented, long delays on our container deliveries from the Far East. We are working tirelessly and paying extreme surcharges to get your furniture here as soon as possible but the shipping is simply out of our control. Thank you to those of you who show our staff compassion and understanding.
Garden Furniture Delays - 01/04/21
A giant container ship the length of four football pitches has become wedged across Egypt's Suez Canal on Tuesday 23rd March. Resulting in the blockage of one of the world's busiest trade routes. This incident has intensified an already difficult situation. Meaning that stock is now delayed not only to increased demand but also due to the incident in Egypt. Shortage of containers and increased demand means that orders are delayed further.
1. What has happened along the Suez Canal?
On Tuesday 23rd March, the container ship Ever Given was hit by an unexpected strong wind which caused the 400m long ship to run aground in the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal is an artery of world trade, connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, and providing an avenue for vessels to pass between Asia and the Middle East and Europe. On a global scale around 12% of trade passes through the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe. This vital waterway being blocked has led to numerous issues worldwide.
This week-long standstill has increased stock delays in an already unwanted situation. Due to COVID-19 purchasing patterns have evolved as now we see an increase in people purchasing goods for their home or garden. Therefore, this has caused a delay due to increased demand this year. Furthermore, there is a global shortage of container availability due to increased demand for ecommerce goods. Consequently, the situation on the Suez Canal has further increased this delay as companies are now unsure when stock will arrive.
2. What has this blockage caused?
The blockage has been the source of much worry and frustration for the global shipping industry and businesses worldwide. Data from Lloyd’s list showed that stranded ship was holding up around $9.6bn (£7bn) of goods along the waterway each day. That equates to $400m an hour! Some vessels did choose to reroute their journey which meant adding an extra 8-10 days to their entire journey. The Suez Canal blockage has affected countless of businesses such as retailers, not just the global shipping industry. Many British companies are still unsure as to when they will receive their much-needed goods. The blockage means that, for many businesses, they now have less stock available and customers are left waiting for their orders.
At 400m long and 59m wide, the ship became lodged across the Suez Canal due to high winds. The waterway was therefore impassable which caused hundreds of ships to pile up as they waited to get through. As a result of the accident the ship caused a giant traffic jam in one of the busiest waterways in the world. Therefore, causing massive delays in shipping worldwide. As a result of this Egypt has had to reopen the canal’s older channel to help divert some of the traffic until the grounded ship can move again. Two attempts to free the Ever Given were unsuccessful on Saturday despite hopes that the high water level could increase their chances of success as more than 300 vessels are stuck at either end of the Suez Canal.
3. Some good news for businesses worldwide!
Fortunately, on Monday 29th March the Ever Given was finally dislodged from the canal thanks to the dredgers. Thirteen small but powerful boats helped dislodge the ship and dredgers worked to remove mud and sand from underneath the ship. High tides helped the tugs and dredgers and early on Monday, the stern was freed and the 200,000 ton ship swung across the canal, to shouts and cheers of celebration. Then, hours later, the bow came unstuck and the Ever Given was finally able to move out. Traffic finally resumed on the waterway after being at a standstill for nearly a week. According to officials the backlog of ships should be cleared in three days. Inevitably cargo ships will be reaching their destination a lot later than planned.