From Shanghai to Singapore, London to L.A. the global shipping industry is in crisis. A devastating world pandemic followed by booming demands from online shoppers and shortages in labor have led to one the biggest shipping fiascos to date.
As collectors, keeping an eye on global shipping is just part of our hobby, so we tend to be more informed. But in this post, the QS team have decided to answer some questions about how we’re handling the crisis and what this could mean for collectors.
If you’re an experienced collector, this post may confirm what you already know, but if you’re a newer collector this post should be a big help!
A POSITIVE POST-PANDEMIC
Following a pretty miserable 2020, it seemed for this year that everything was going so well. The restaurants were reopening, holiday makers were allowed to leave their country, and movie fans were finally allowed to go to the cinema. So where did it all go wrong?
Well, the immediate effects of the world economy opening, tangled with the desire for luxury goods and customer demands of Christmas 2020 (that’s right, it goes that far back), the global supply chain has been put under unmanageable stress on an industry that wasn’t prepared for such pressure.
Despite many economies re-opening, there are problems all along the supply chain. Demand is out-stripping supply, there are labour shortages caused by interventions combined with cross border travel restrictions, all contributing to the jams.
WHAT IS BEING DONE?
In Europe and most of Asia, things are moving, albeit pretty slowly. Although most countries in Europe and Asia have their own trade agreements, results and responses differ from port to port and country to country. The UK in particular has taken a huge hit thanks to Brexit, while the rest of Europe is also taking a bit of a hit thanks for to the rising cost of goods from China.
In the US, there seems to be a different picture emerging. So far, The White House has stepped in, announcing plans to shift clogged up Southern California ports to a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week schedule and allow more time to work through the backlog.
Experts are sceptical about how much of an impact this would have if warehouses and truck drivers were not following the same routine. All we are waiting for now, is for other governments to take the same initiative.
Biden’s port envoy has stated “We’re focused first on the short term, next 90 days, and second on longer term structural changes that need to be made. Doing both simultaneously is important. In the short term, we have to work with the system we have, and the existing private operators have to increase the tempo on what they have. Over the longer term, as we build a better system — truly a system, not a bunch of individual elements that are flying in loose formation — there’s certainly a role of public investment to augment private investment."
Based on the recent news, like with most things, we all have to adapt and try to find out what is happening locally. Which begs the next question.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR QS ORDERS?
If you have already pre-ordered one of our collectibles, not to worry, you’re still going to receive it; Our production hasn’t slowed down. Our design and production team are working around the clock to assure all our collectables are being produced. But we are feeling the strains of the current post-pandemic global shipping slow down. Our shipping team are doing everything within their power, to get your collectables to you. We won’t try to offer empty promises, but patience and understanding will help.
The Queen Studios team will continue to work with well-established partners to plan shipping in advance. By combining our collectibles with other companies’ collectibles, we’re able to secure container space each month.
Price is also a big factor. Although the cost of containers are high, it is still marginally cheaper to ship this way. The QS team are working around the clock to make sure all customers have both an express and economy option available.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY FUTURE PRE-ORDERS
Now, it is difficult to predict what will happen over the next year. Some commentators suggest the crisis will continue into 2022; others believe it will ease with government intervention.
Like current pre-orders, Queen Studios will continue to work with partners to lower the costs as much as possible and offer both options.
As a company, we’re working hard to establish a payment plan to spread out any costs.
Finally, for some of our Globally licensed products that are available now, they won’t be ready for at least one more year. With our batch system, we could delay and economy shipping into early 2023 for customers who can wait a little longer for things to even out. By that time, we should be looking at lower prices and a return to some sort of normality
Thank you for your understanding!
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Post by Luke Wainhouse