AND YOU THOUGHT CHINA WAS THE PROBLEM:
The recently published Eureka Times 36 outlined some of the difficulties experienced recently in the model railway manufacturing industry in China.
With the log jam starting to break up in China, the scheduling department here at the Eureka offices decided it was time to order a fairly large quantity of the no. 158 Kadee couplers which are the standard coupler used on all Eureka Models projects.
So it was on Monday the 19th of March that an email ordering the required KDs was forwarded to the Kadee offices in the US. Nothing out of the ordinary here and Kadee usually process the order and forwards the ordered items within 48 hours. (Eureka has the couplers sent to it in Australia and then has the couplers delivered, one way or another to the factory in China. In the good old days there were less problems on items from Australia to China than the US to China but this may no longer be the case and of course hand delivery is currently not an option.)
This delivery issue may be a problem for the future as on the next evening the usual curteous reply was received from Kadee acknowledging the order and pointing out that they had lost six months production last year due to the virus and that they had not been able to catch up yet. With orders coming in as manufacturers started to get production moving again they were six months behind in deliveries and so we cold expect delivery in August or September.
Other manufacturers are reporting similar experiences and there is not much that can be done about it. Actually, this may not hold up projects all that much but it just another thing to be taken into account.
In a similar vein, talk to any retailer and they tell similar stories with regard to major brands from overseas such as Peco, Micro-Engineering etc. so while we may be focused on China it is in fact a world wide problem.