This post is designed to help explain the current shipping crisis as it relates to hand sanitizer shipments. Please read and share.
There is no doubt that the world is in previously unknown territory. When one thing changes so dramatically it cannot help but affect something else just as drastically, that on the surface is seemingly unrelated. That “something else” is a air cargo during Corona virus crisis. Read DHL Notification
Air Cargo Crisis Explained.
I like simple. Explain it to me like I’m 5 and I am good to go. So I have tried to explain the air cargo crisis and specifically the affect on shipments of larger sized 8.5 ounce hand sanitizer. Please read carefully so you can explain to clients.
Passenger Flights To and From China Cancelled.
Over the past 2 weeks more than 73 airlines have cancelled passenger flights to and from China. (see Business Insider)
Now, you may say, “well who would want to go to China right now?” and also “isn’t it a good idea to limit people coming from China to here?” The answer is yes, but there is a big problem that this creates.
40-75% of all Passenger Plane Cargo Space is for Commercial Goods.
This means that with the loss of all passenger flights from China the only flights coming in from China to USA and worldwide are dedicated cargo planes such as FedEx, DHL, etc. I have put up a visual below to show the dramatic reduction in airplanes flying in from China to USA . Each icon represents approximately 10 flights each day to USA.
Freight Prices Rise, Availability Plummets.
Because the air cargo planes are coming here fully loaded and we are basically shut down in the USA. The planes are returning to China mostly empty. This is basic business math 101. Prices for freight are rising.
Dangerous goods insurance: 75% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the only effective type of hand sanitizer. Read the CDC page. When we air ship 75% alcohol based hand sanitizer it is categorized as being a dangerous goods (flammable). Dangerous goods are far more expensive to ship by air. Note: If you’ve ever aired in a Lithium battery products you will already know this…Lith-ion is also considered a dangerous good)
Size matters: As all air cargo is basically a consolidated freight, the size and weight of the box really matters. The freight forwarders (the people in Chinese ports that take your boxes and put them into an air cargo container, called a Unit Load Device) have all decided as of last night that for the forseeable future they will NOT ACCEPT 8.5 ounce bottles of alcohol based hand sanitizer (as it is too bulky and too flammable to be in 1 shipment) However, THEY WILL ACCEPT the much smaller 2 ounce bottles for air cargo.
What to do if you have an order for 8.5 ounce hand sanitizer?
Firstly, no one, I repeat no one will take 8.5 ounce bottles as air cargo. I have spoken with 7 freight forwarders in China and all 3 factories in China. 8.5 ounce bottles are not going to ship by air in the forseeable future.
Instead we STRONGLY RECOMMEND you keep your 8.5 ounce orders and let us ship by fast ocean freight. This will take approximately 35-45 days. The other alternative I suggest is reorder in the smaller bottles (12-14 days).
Price changes: If you send your 8.5 ounce orders by ocean your price will go down. If you change to 2 ounce prices will be up. I cannot help this.
For those of you who want to cancel the 8.5 ounce orders we will refund you immediately.
A cautionary tale: We have been on the frontline of the virus as it emerged in China in early January. I have been to China more than 20 times. I understand their system and people as best as anyone reading this.
When the virus emerged in China the entire country was locked down. Not partial, not voluntarily, it was shut the fuck down, right now!
During the lock down lock down, millions of civil volunteers went door to door to test and take peoples temperature. Those found with the virus were under government quarantine until they tested clear. This took over 7 weeks.
It is now 3 months later and Wuhan (epicenter of the virus) is just now coming out of quarantine, and only a bit by bit. All other parts of the country are back to work but everyone wears masks.
Read this carefully, I am not being alarmist: I have no political axe to grind (I am Canadian in the USA) but I can tell you that our lack of dramatic response will make this outbreak last a whole lot longer than it has in China. If the outbreak lasts longer 4-8 months or more, you may want to keep your 250 ml orders and go the ocean freight route. Thanks for reading. John