Appreciate your Pineapples and Waterparkas
I just learned that it takes seven years for a really good pineapple to grow. This knowledge had changed the way I will eat them forever. When I eat one now, I do it slowly and really appreciate it and the thought of all the sunshine it had to take to grow this juicy, golden beauty.
This made me think about how long it takes us to build a Waterparka from start to finish. In a normal year, the job of building a Waterparka is one that involves a lot of logistics and about 6 months. But, in the year of a pandemic, it was off the charts as far as delays and levels of stress.
Here's the process our Winter 2020 shipment went through before being put under the tree or onto your boats...
We normally place orders for our Winter shipment around May or June so we can expect an October shipment. We placed an extra early order for fabric in March (and I still can't think of why we did this?) and the main order in April so we had plenty of time to get it in and out before Thanksgiving. But, the factories had just shut down and nothing was being made. We were on hold indefinitely.
Things started to open up again around July and, luckily, we were first in line! Production was cut to 1/3 of the output due to Covid restrictions and social distancing on the factory floor so we expected slight delays.
Every month, I was getting that email delaying our shipment by another month. When November hit and I once again received that delay email, I begged them to just release whatever they had made and put it on the next vessel out! I knew this was going to bring up our shipping costs, but we had already almost sold out of the new order that was now three months late. Visions of freezing cold watermen danced in my head! I didn't care about the extra costs, the warming must happen this season!!!
Our factory was able to get about 500 pieces on a vessel after a short-ish wait in line. During the sea voyage is when the stress really starts to kick in. Being watermen and having lots of experiences on boats, we are all well aware of the many personalities of the big blue crazy lady.
If you are in the business of exporting and importing, it's good to kinda understand a bit about the laws of physics, concepts like velocity, inertia and how it applies to the motion of the ocean, and the movement of cargo inside containers while it is in transit...blah blah blah.
As per the IMO (International Maritime Organization), "The accelerations acting on a ship during its passage results in a combination of longitudinal, vertical and predominantly transverse motions and the forces created by these accelerations give rise to the majority of securing problems."
Kinda like this crazy rollercoaster ride in the diagram below.
This diagram alone is enough to make most people seasick just looking at it, so let's move on...
Our shipment came in fine, but the ports were blocked and backed up for a week with all the shipments that had just come in. This delayed our backorders by another 10 days.
Finally, our gear arrived at the warehouse that was busier than a mosquito at a nudist beach. Or a one arm paperhanger with hives. But, they were awesome and had gotten everything out in less than a week! Which brings us to the present time when we are now getting some very fun emails from customers about how happy they are to be warm for their next adventures. These are the reasons why we keep making our warming gear year after year.
So, it was a super duper challenge getting ( most of ) this year's shipment here in time for Christmas. Treat your Surf-fur like a pineapple guys!!
The really great news in all of this is that none of our people contracted Covid. And that is the most important part of this whole process. We couldn't provide this warmth without the hard work of our factory people, freight forwarders, merchant sailors, all the salty sea dogs on the ships, the longshoremen, the customs brokers, the truck drivers, the warehouse people and our customer service representative. We appreciate you all and hope you have a relaxing holiday season.
We love you! Keep charging on!