COVID-19 - Business almost as usual!
Thursday 11th June 2020
We are almost back to business as usual although international freight problems continue to cause disruption and mean that we can't always fill your orders as quickly as we'd like.
The easing of federal and state measures surrounding COVID-19 mean that there are no significant local barriers to processing and delivering your orders.
However, there are still significant delays with stock from our international suppliers. All our publishing and distribution partners are open for business but some are still operating with reduced staffing or limited dispatch operations which are causing delays. The biggest issue though is the Coronavirus impact on international freight - hugely reduced capacity has flowed through to increased freight costs, delays and very unpredictable shipping times.
Due to the massive increases in airfreight costs several local distributors and publishers have decided to switch all or most of their imports to seafreight until further notice - this can mean up to a 3 month turnaround for internationally published items not locally stocked.
The prolonged impact of US & UK closures and the huge airfreight cost increases and delays have taken their toll on our stocks - whilst we still have lots of stock it is taking an uncomfortably long time to re-stock when items run low and the unpredictability of things is making it hard for us to always meet our normal delivery timeframes for your orders.
On the plus side, local delivery appears to be improving but there are still also some delays in the local courier and Australia Post networks.
Hygiene and Virus Transmission
All the information from trusted/reliable sources tells us that transmission of the COVID-19 virus via parcels is extremely unlikely - this Washington Post article provides a good explanation. Despite the extremely low risk, we are adhering to the precautionary principle and have implemented the following protocols:
- social distancing guidelines are being followed within our office
- our team are washing hands thoroughly before handling resources and packing customer orders
- all of our delivery partners have implemented additional protocols to minimise or eliminate contact during parcel delivery, eg. signatures are not now required and instead you will be asked for your name and the delivery driver will "sign" for you
- surfaces in our office are thoroughly cleaned, at least daily
- staff displaying any potential symptoms will be self-isolating and working from home
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and implement any additional measures as required to ensure business continuity and transmission risk minimisation.
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