let's talk a little about logistics and shipping

bretti_kivi

Member
Hi,

With work I ship stuff all over the world. Mostly large, high value stuff, but also smaller packages. I've also spent the last few months selling a bunch of stuff on Ebay.
A couple of observations:
- currently, Logistics are in a hell of a mess, even without the Ever Given situation.
- No guarantees are being given for times
- COVID has made this worse.

I'll explain: everyone is buying stuff to be shipped to their home. This causes a couple of obvious problems: overloading of the "last mile" to your house, stretched parcel services. But they have a different problem, too: because stevedores in harbours can't work closely together, they can't unload fast enough. So your ship ends up waiting outside port for days to enter, and even then, the unload takes longer.
With me so far? That then leads to delays on the return voyage, and the factory only has so much warehouse capacity - so even if they wanted to, they can't necessarily produce.
Airplanes also aren't flying, and standard routes with passengers would normally have freight - but that isn't possible while the planes are grounded, so shipping that would previously take three days is now taking 10 (to the US); to Asia I got quoted a 2 week wait time to get gear on a plane.

Then add in the drought in Taiwan.

Taiwan and drought? What's that got to do with anything? Quite a lot: an awful lot of the chips in your electronic gizmos are made there - and the drought means that the silicon foundries that build those chips can't necessarily operate at full speed. That and the fact that (again) they may still have COVID restrictions in place - not true for Taiwan but applies elsewhere. That lack of chips means, again, that orders made in December last year for delivery in March may not be delivered until June... so your gizmo might also be delayed. It also means that repairs to factory robots might not be possible. Or cars built. Depends.
This snowballs with the idea that containers are being left in ports in the US for way longer that previously. Because not enough truckers are around to deliver them (restrictions again) and if there's no container at the factory, nothing can be shipped, even if it's already made. Vicious circle.

Brexit has just made things worse. There was a bunch of time at the beginning of the year where logistics companies would not ship - point blank "no" - to the UK. HMRC wasn't sure what they were doing, nothing was clear and the trucks were being held up. So they dropped it completely. There's enough horror stories in the news from Jan-Feb, but they don't carry the full story. We shipped something mid-January and the hassle when it arrived was significant: no clarity meant lots of questions. I'm very, very glad it wasn't to a customer, as they would have rejected the shipment considering the numbers HMRC was demanding.
Logistics in Europe is also problematic. I shipped a small package just after Christmas. It got stuck in Lithuania for 10 days for no apparent reason. I checked: borders closed. If there's no driver or the border's closed, you're not getting your package.
Bringing this back to Audi Tradition: they previously shipped to some countries, but the UK side is now really strange. I haven't shipped anything to the UK in a while, but I do know I now need to complete a standard EU Export form, I need the HSS codes, and I suspect a whole load of other overhead for companies. For my work, the UK is now "just another non-EU country", but for those who only dealt with EU exports before, this is a new ballgame. EU shipments for us are a ten minute job; non-EU ones triple that in the office and we have to go to customs for a number which may or may not take a complete day to create.
It's also the case that logistics companies don't necessarily want to ship to the UK as they don't /*know*/ what's going to happen to their truck on the way out. Those stories about trucks being held for x hours because one part of the load doesn't have the correct paperwork? That's not going away any time soon as the prep for the new customs regime in the UK is way behind schedule - so it's easier for a trucking company to say "thanks, no thanks", and leave it.

In this context, it also doesn't matter that the UK is currently giving "grace" on shipment costs for shipments coming in. It's about the fact that the paperwork onus isn't really on the end user / customer in most of these things anyway, and that the customer will reject if unexpected costs happen and that hassle simply isn't worth it for small businesses until the new customs system has fully bedded in - and that might take a while.
 

Jellybean

A2OC Donor
Add to all this the shambles in the Suez Canal, with one ship stranded and 200 ships held up.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

VAG fool

Member
Two TNT parcels from Czech to UK arrived in 8 days. I'm happy.
My US customer who has £5k of goods sat in customs at NY for weeks before it ships across to WA state is being very patient.
It's out of our hands.
 

A2Steve

Member
I know I’m talking on a minute scale but I’ve stopped the Pro Boost service and haven’t shipped outside the U.K. since 1st January. It’s simply not worth the hassle.

Thanks to Amazon people expect instant delivery (not here, you are all lovely) and so I imagine it’s real hard work for companies at the moment keeping customers happy.
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
You may wonder why there are currently no Covid restriction in Taiwan. With a population of 22m and a higher population density than the UK, they've had 10 deaths due to Covid - yes TEN! Puts our wonderful government in their true perspective!

RAB
 

VAG fool

Member
67435700.jpg
 

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Hi,

With work I ship stuff all over the world. Mostly large, high value stuff, but also smaller packages. I've also spent the last few months selling a bunch of stuff on Ebay.
A couple of observations:
- currently, Logistics are in a hell of a mess, even without the Ever Given situation.
- No guarantees are being given for times
- COVID has made this worse.

I'll explain: everyone is buying stuff to be shipped to their home. This causes a couple of obvious problems: overloading of the "last mile" to your house, stretched parcel services. But they have a different problem, too: because stevedores in harbours can't work closely together, they can't unload fast enough. So your ship ends up waiting outside port for days to enter, and even then, the unload takes longer.
With me so far? That then leads to delays on the return voyage, and the factory only has so much warehouse capacity - so even if they wanted to, they can't necessarily produce.
Airplanes also aren't flying, and standard routes with passengers would normally have freight - but that isn't possible while the planes are grounded, so shipping that would previously take three days is now taking 10 (to the US); to Asia I got quoted a 2 week wait time to get gear on a plane.

Then add in the drought in Taiwan.

Taiwan and drought? What's that got to do with anything? Quite a lot: an awful lot of the chips in your electronic gizmos are made there - and the drought means that the silicon foundries that build those chips can't necessarily operate at full speed. That and the fact that (again) they may still have COVID restrictions in place - not true for Taiwan but applies elsewhere. That lack of chips means, again, that orders made in December last year for delivery in March may not be delivered until June... so your gizmo might also be delayed. It also means that repairs to factory robots might not be possible. Or cars built. Depends.
This snowballs with the idea that containers are being left in ports in the US for way longer that previously. Because not enough truckers are around to deliver them (restrictions again) and if there's no container at the factory, nothing can be shipped, even if it's already made. Vicious circle.

Brexit has just made things worse. There was a bunch of time at the beginning of the year where logistics companies would not ship - point blank "no" - to the UK. HMRC wasn't sure what they were doing, nothing was clear and the trucks were being held up. So they dropped it completely. There's enough horror stories in the news from Jan-Feb, but they don't carry the full story. We shipped something mid-January and the hassle when it arrived was significant: no clarity meant lots of questions. I'm very, very glad it wasn't to a customer, as they would have rejected the shipment considering the numbers HMRC was demanding.
Logistics in Europe is also problematic. I shipped a small package just after Christmas. It got stuck in Lithuania for 10 days for no apparent reason. I checked: borders closed. If there's no driver or the border's closed, you're not getting your package.
Bringing this back to Audi Tradition: they previously shipped to some countries, but the UK side is now really strange. I haven't shipped anything to the UK in a while, but I do know I now need to complete a standard EU Export form, I need the HSS codes, and I suspect a whole load of other overhead for companies. For my work, the UK is now "just another non-EU country", but for those who only dealt with EU exports before, this is a new ballgame. EU shipments for us are a ten minute job; non-EU ones triple that in the office and we have to go to customs for a number which may or may not take a complete day to create.
It's also the case that logistics companies don't necessarily want to ship to the UK as they don't /*know*/ what's going to happen to their truck on the way out. Those stories about trucks being held for x hours because one part of the load doesn't have the correct paperwork? That's not going away any time soon as the prep for the new customs regime in the UK is way behind schedule - so it's easier for a trucking company to say "thanks, no thanks", and leave it.

In this context, it also doesn't matter that the UK is currently giving "grace" on shipment costs for shipments coming in. It's about the fact that the paperwork onus isn't really on the end user / customer in most of these things anyway, and that the customer will reject if unexpected costs happen and that hassle simply isn't worth it for small businesses until the new customs system has fully bedded in - and that might take a while.
Brilliant: thank you.
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Presumably every Western government is complicit?
Yes, some more than others! Their mistake was treating Covid as if was flu; they had plans for a flu epidemic and just followed through with them. That's what was meant by 'herd immunity'; remember people coming back from Europe where Covid was raging with no testing, no isolation. People coming from everywhere without restriction. Yes, just come back and spread it around! Why didn't they consult with the Taiwanese etc, who knew all about Sars, Mers etc? Are they racists too? Remember Johnson ordering a lockdown 11 days after it had been advised? Do you think you got value from Track & Trace when only 20% of those tested positive were self-isolating? In the end, after about a year, they at last got it right (or as right as they could) but at what cost? The Taiwanese (and the New Zealanders) knew exactly what to do - elimination of the disease, not suppression. Initially we had promotion of Covid!

RAB
 
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