Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe, getting vaccinated and ready to rumble for another summer!
The executive summary of this blog post is – we have DPD powder but no jars, and I’m fixing that asap. Read on if you want to hear all about global chemical and packaging supply lines.
There is a side effect of the global pandemic and that is packaging shortages – and they’ve finally hit the old Lab process here. We use small jars for the Chlorine DPD powder and they’re only made overseas. Australian companies that make similar designs only make much larger ones, or require minimum purchases of 10,000 units and I would love to need that many or have that much money.
Unfortunately, due to covid there are significantly less production of these jars in Asia where ours come from currently. Adding onto that, there’s currently less freight routes coming into the country and the ones that are coming have a backlog to get through. The ABC talks here about the global supply chain shorting out and delaying large numbers of products.
I ordered jars from a supplier overseas and after some time the order was cancelled. I made another order, and it’s been cancelled as well now. There’s only a couple factories in China that make our bottles, so I’m hoping that their staff are ok but it looks like they’ve closed down for a while. I’ve looked at getting some stop gap ones from that site I don’t like named after a huge forest, but even they have an ETA of October 1st for pretty much everything. Also, they’re expensive to compensate for the current cost of shipping anything to Australia.
To highlight just how bad it’s getting for supplies – I purchase a specific chemical from the US, and it usually takes about 6 days from ordering to arriving. That’s been the speed the whole time I’ve been running the Labs. This year, I ordered some at the end of June and it arrived on my doorstep today – about 9 weeks later. To even get it that quickly I had to call the company in the US and organise a courier to go to their warehouse and ship it to me.
In terms of the Labs capacity to operate over summer, we’re going to be fine. I’ve planned ahead to get enough product and chemicals in for the summer period. I’m currently sitting on an entire summers worth of DPD powder but don’t have the usual jars for it. I’ve just used the last of my jar stock to do a rush of orders that came through this weekend. Twice the number of orders as normal, so it’s great news for the sales team but really puts the packaging team under the hammer. Oh btw I’m the only person here so I’m the entirety of both teams. How could I do this to me? I’ll take it up with management at the next meeting with myself.