We are now all getting used to living with Covid but when it comes to the global movement of goods, the crisis is far from over.
The reality is that the situation is in some ways worse than ever with severe staff shortages, covid restrictions in China and the Ukraine war all causing widespread disruption. There are delays at almost every step in our supply chains - printing/production, shipping from printer/factory to publisher, warehousing and dispatch, domestic transport from publisher to port/airport, backlog/congestion at port/airport, international sea/air freight, backlog/congestion at Australian port/airport, Australian domestic transport.
What does all this mean? Our publishers are struggling to get stock and to process our orders, which means it can take an age for stock to get to us - up to 6 months in the worst cases!
One glimmer of hope is that we are seeing a gradual increase in airfreight capacity as international travel picks up, but experts agree that it is going to be a long time before we get back to pre-pandemic levels. The disruptions to airfreight and its climate impact, mean that sea freight is going to continue to play a major role. Whilst we are getting better at forecasting & planning, this necessarily means that there are going to be times when we cannot quickly replenish stock after an unexpected run on some items.
In the face of all these issues we are doing our absolute best to keep things moving and to keep a smile on our faces when customers complain of delays in getting their orders. We understand the frustration because we are living it every day!