We are all aware of how we rely heavily on the Far East for the manufacturing of most of our day-to-day items. These are shipped from countries such as China, in large containers, on large ships which can amazingly hold over 20,000 containers.
In previous years, these container ships would arrive in our ports such as Felixstowe and Liverpool full of 20 & 40ft containers, get unloaded, then re loaded and sent on their way. During the last 4 months of 2020, it was reported that these ports were starting to see delays due to the COVID-19 crisis. The start of 2021 is seeing the same issues, alongside some of our key supplier seeing their own supply issues.
Here’s some of the reasons why –
Since the COVID-19 crisis, several shipping carriers are now claiming to be fully booked due to the demand in shipping unforeseen volumes of PPE from China around the world, particularly to the US. The US market demand has resulted in the Europe shipping capacity being diverted to the US, causing us major shortages.
In addition to the above, before 1st September 2020, Great Britain was sending large amounts of our waste paper to China to be recycled. After 1st September, we saw China banning waste paper being imported, this leading to containers not being shipped back to China. This causing a shortage of 40ft containers in China, with many of these empty containers left blocking up our ports. This has had a major impact on the supply chain for many of our suppliers, as it’s caused delays in stock being shipped. Then, if it has been shipped, some container ships are getting turned away from our ports due to COVID-19 procedures, which are causing a delay in the unloading of said ships.
How has this affected us at Pits Pots & Patios?
We place our orders for the majority of our 2021 products way in advance, up to 10 months in advance, with the hope to receive it when planned. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened and we are already experiencing delays, stock diversions and now price increases from most of our suppliers.
How does this affect you, our customers?
Most of our stock on the website is in stock and ready to be sent out. Some of our larger items, such as our Garden Furniture is sold on a ‘pre order’ basis with delivery dates clearly given. These delivery dates are our best guide and we will endeavour to stick to them the best we can. If at any point these dates are no longer looking possible, we will let you know and offer a full refund.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding, patience and continued support during these challenging times, we will continue to keep you up to date with any changes as soon as we become aware of them.