Daily Illuminator

May 15, 2021: Ongoing Shipping Woes

Over the last year, the world has experienced ocean freight issues that have driven up costs while pushing factory* to warehouse timelines out from six to seven weeks to 10+ weeks. We've been hit more than a few times with unexpected out-of-stock troubles on some key titles over the last year, and every single time we think we found a solution . . . bam.

Recently, we were scheduling a container of games that was planned to leave the factory in late April. As of today, the container still hasn't been loaded on a ship and the soonest possible shipping date is late this month. Worse still, that container will cost us over 1.5x as much to ship as it did before the pandemic. As I said, "driven costs up." Unfortunately, that particular container was only the tip of an unwanted iceberg.

This week, while working on yet another container, we were given a sailing choice that has no guarantees as to when it will ship – for over 2x what we used to pay for a container. Of course, that container hasn't expanded by over 2x in size, so we simply are paying more per unit for ocean freight than we once did. We can handle the expense better than we can the delays, but the current freight costs and times are not sustainable and we need to examine our retail prices as well as build even more time into our production and shipping schedules.

And now it is almost time to review the costs and estimated delivery schedule for yet another container . . .

-- Phil Reed

* Specifically, the time to move completed games and not the entire manufacturing/shipping process.

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