So if you have heard the news lately you might have caught the news that there are labor strikes going on at the ports along the west coast. As these strikes have yet to be resolved and are affecting the arrival of products from overseas, Stampin' Up! has cautioned us that there may come a time where we are unable to receive materials from some of our manufacturing partners in other countries. The products most likely to be effected are tools - our Big Shot framelits, embossing folders, etc. (
See the much longer explanation at the foot of this post.)
Why am I sharing this with you? The main reason is so that you will know what to expect when you when you want to place an order. For example, our new Berry Basket Bigz die is an item that has been on my wish list since I first reviewed our Occcasions 2015 Catalog. I have a number of gifts I want to make using this die this spring, so I went ahead and ordered it just in case there are issues later.
Before we get to the nitty gritty of inventory stories, how about a break? Check out the Berry Basket and how easy it comes together. Psst! You can see videos regarding other Stampin' Up! products on the Stampin' Up! YouTube channel.
THE LONGER (MORE DETAILED ANSWER) VIA STAMPIN' UP!West Coast Port Labor Negotiations
Nearly 40 percent of all US imports pass through ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. As ongoing contract negotiations continue between the ILWU and PMA, a record number of containers are arriving at the ports due to new “jumbo” freight vessels. In addition to these record numbers, there is also a shortage of equipment used to actually deliver the containers. You can follow news about the ports and the labor negotiations here. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the negotiations or the congestion at the west coast ports.
Like almost everyone else who imports through these ports, we are looking for alternate routes to bring in our products and distribute them to you and your customers.
Because of the congestion at the west coast port, more companies—us included—are using air freight from China to bypass the congested ports, which, ironically, is now causing congestion with imported air freight.
Chinese New Year
During Chinese New Year (Feb 15 - March 9)—a very important holiday to the Chinese people—our Chinese manufacturers shut down and none of those products will be shipped to the US during this time.
Unfortunately, these factors have combined to create the “perfect storm” of backorders and, sadly, we foresee the situation getting worse before it gets better.
The Temporary Solution
Because backorders cause so much consternation and are very costly, we have decided that until we see improvements in the factors causing backorders, we will turn off accessories that become unavailable, rather than allowing them to go on backorder. Please note: because stamps are manufactured locally, stamp sets will be allowed to go on backorder status as needed.
If you currently have an item on backorder, we will fill your order as soon as we have the item in stock. Occasionally the product shipments we receive will not cover all backorders; in these instances, the remaining backorders will have to wait until subsequent shipments are received.
**I will continue updating you on the shipping and manufacturing situation weekly—even if there is nothing new to report—so you’ll know as soon as I do when the situation changes. We apologize for the frustration the backorders may cause, but we hope this information has helped you understand some of the circumstances that are affecting how quickly we can replenish our inventory.**