COVID continues to have an impact on all our lives, and above all else, we hope you and your family are safe and well.
In terms of shipping, COVID adds a degree of uncertainty, due to the following reasons:
- Sorting hubs have implemented social distancing measures which means reduced staff. Additionally, if impacted with a COVID issue, a center may close, or reduce to very limited staff, resulting in further sorting backlogs
- The lower-cost shipping options rely on so-called 'commercial airlift'. This means cargo space on commercial carriers, such as BA, Iberia, Qantas etc. The dramatic reduction in air travel leads to less cargo space, and delays in movement from the international sorting hubs in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Adding to all of this, it's an election year here in the US, and the postal service, USPS, has become a political pawn. This has resulted in overtime bans and sorting machine limitations at a time when parcel traffic volume has, literally, never been higher (note that some of these bans have been lifted, but not all).
What You Can Do
The postal services are the most impacted by these issues as you’ve probably noticed in your own cities and towns. As countries open up, things improve, but as they close down, things slow down, sometimes dramatically and abruptly.
If your package is urgent, or needed by a certain date, please consider using one of the expedited services:
- For International shipments, DHL and UPS both have their own planes, and are far less impacted overall. We have discounted DHL rates by 25% to encourage their use. Delivery times are nearly always within 3-5 days.
- For Domestic shipments, UPS are still very reliable. They have removed all service guarantees, meaning that if a package is shipped using a 2-day service and doesn't arrive within 2 days, there's unfortunately no recourse. However, from our own statistics over 94% of 'day-certain' UPS shipments do arrive on time.
- USPS shipments are a lower cost, but reliable option. Delivery times vary on the distance you are from North Texas, but are typically 2-3 days for nearby states, and 4-5 days for the coasts, but all depends on issues at local sorting hubs. You may see delays in scans, that appears to be ‘normal’ for these times.
What We're Doing
- We have always passed through the shipping cost without any markup and that practice continues. The price you see during checkout is the same price we pay. If you opt for DHL, it's 25% less than we pay.
- We have regular meetings with our carriers to understand the best options for shipping. They change frequently, and we try to keep up.
- We track every shipment of course, which sometimes isn't helpful, as it appears not to be moving. But again, based on our own stats, over 98.5% of what's shipped is delivered, so if you're not seeing any movement, please be patient. We don't have any additional insight or extra tracking, unfortunately.