April 29: UPS has provided the following update related to the 'lowest cost' international shipping option:
There's 3 main issues:
- Lack of air transportation overseas:
- Air travel internationally has reduced over 90%, so USPS is working on other route options for mail, including sea transportation
- Lack of staff for processing domestically at USPS locations
- USPS is encountering staffing shortages due to the coronavirus
- Lack of staff for processing internationally at destination countries
- Foreign posts are struggling keeping up with increased volume
We are seeing volume levels higher than peak season (November- January) and postal networks domestically and internationally are struggling to keep up. We are also seeing missed scanning events, so some will not receive a scan as they already en-route. This is improving; so far, USPS has been able to find new air transportation lanes and options for routing through other foreign posts to circumvent transportation issues (ex: Routing Australia Mail to Japan Post, which then travels to Australia).
April 28: International shipments using the 'lowest cost' option (UPS Mail Innovations) are now moving very slowly through the network, with significant bottlenecks that can last several weeks at the international hub in Chicago. This is because UPS hands-off to the postal service in Chicago, where they use commercial flights to reach the final destination country. If your order is urgent, or required quickly, we recommend using the expedited options (DHL or UPS), as they fly their own planes, so have more capacity.
COVID-19 is now having a dramatic impact on all of us. First, we hope you and your families are keeping safe and well.
In terms of our own operations, we are a family-run business, we're well, we have ice cream & wine, so everything is continuing normally. We're taking the recommended precautions to ensure our wellbeing, and cleanliness of our working environment. As always, you can trust that any order you place will normally ship within one business day.
As you would expect, we are starting to see shipping delays for some countries, particularly those that have closed their borders, and/or have implemented measures to limit mobility within the country. Shipping/logistics is regarded as a critical service, so aside from some delays your order will still be delivered. Many carriers are suspending the need for a signature to confirm delivery, as this helps limit person-to-person contact. Because of this, please ensure you enter a good contact number when checking out - this is only used by the carrier to contact you in the event of an issue.
The WHO and the CDC have stated there's very little risk of catching COVID-19 by touching cardboard or other shipping materials. Out of an abundance of caution, we've treated our warehouse with an electrostatic spray used for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces, in addition to our regular cleaning routine.
Like all of us, we continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly. As with many small businesses, this is a challenging time, and we very much appreciate your continued support.
Reach out to us via the support widget on the site if you have any questions or are just hanging around bored and want to say hi! Otherwise stay safe, look after those around you, and enjoy your Tesla, and not needing to visit a gas station during these uncertain times.