Shipping update: The final hurdle
I will be going live on Facebook at 15:00 UK time, just under 1 hour from now. I will discuss everything mentioned in this update and answer any questions.
Unfortunately due to the house move I'm currently going through, I can't stream to YouTube.
Unfortunately this last week has added one final hurdle to the delivery of the Kickstarter and I wanted to share the problem and update you all on the situation.
On Monday the first of our 5 containers arrived with our UK fulfilment partner Gamesquest and upon opening the container they discovered the pallets had fallen, damaging the contents inside.
This was of course devastating news, but with the rest of the containers due over the next 24 hours I decided to wait before assessing the damage in case we had further problems with the other containers.
As it was, an estimated 40 cartons (120 games) were reported damaged, and if this did repeat through all 5 containers that could be 600 games lost.
The next day our next 2 containers arrived, the first was fine but the second? It was also a mess.
To add further complications, the other 2 containers got delayed due to trucks breaking down and electrical faults in the port.
On Wednesday our 4th container arrived, it was also filled with fallen pallets and again, the 5th and final container got delayed to Thursday.
Yesterday came and the 5th container was once again delayed, apparently, we suffered several broken trucks and electrical faults in the port - Luck was not on our side!
This morning the 5th container finally arrived, again, it was in a bad state. In total 4 of the 5 containers arrived with damaged games and left hours of work for Gamesquest to manually unload the containers.
With all the containers unloaded, Gamesquest set to work going through the boxes and games.
The final report is 72 cartons, and about 215 games have been crushed and damaged in some way. This is luckily a lot less than the original 600 we had estimated, but still a big problem.
Right now I'm discussing next steps with the shipping company and my manufacturers to see if we can identify the cause of the problem, and also what steps we can take moving forward.
I know at this point there are going to be a lot of questions, so I will try to summarise as many of them as possible.
Questions and Answers
Will I still get my game?
Yes. The reported numbers mean we do still have enough games to fulfil all our orders.
What about the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and everyone else?
Your containers all arrived without issue. The only damaged games are those which were scheduled for Europe.
If it wont impact any of us, why are you telling us?
It is still early days and we may discover further problems. We've now spent several days assessing the situation and I believe I have all the facts, but it is possible we will discover another problem moving forward. Whilst I believe this wont be the case, I want to make sure everyone is aware of the situation.
What impact will this have?
Currently, this is what I'm working on figuring out. Financially speaking, I've got £25,000 worth of damaged stock. This is a big part of the stock I hoped to sell in 2019, and as such I will need to re-plan to make sure I have the finances to continue developing new games.
Last year the shipping damages cost us nearly £30,000 and I had hoped this project would help us recuperate some of those costs. Now, with further problems I will have to spend the next week understanding what this means for me.
Didn't this happen last time?
No. Last time around we had problems in shipping world wide, primarily caused by the design of the game boxes. This time around I spent £10,000's designing and manufacturing much bigger, stronger boxes. We also made sure to load the pallets in a different way to reduce the strain on the games in the bottom rows. This resulted in using more pallets and an increase of importing costs by around 20%.
However, even with these extras in place we have found a way to experience a different problem. My current belief is the pallets were spaced too much without being tied down enough, and perhaps with some rough weather on the sea for this particular boat it left enough room for the pallets to tip. As I say, it didn't happen with the other containers on the other ships.
I wanted to add a note about Gamesquest, as I know their reputation hasn't been the best in recent times. The last week has been incredibly stressful for me, but also for them, as Christmas shipments have been endless. Despite this, they stepped up and worked with me to get the details I needed.
Each container that arrived required a team of people to manually unload as they couldn't use forklifts. Each container was documented with photos and the damages were counted and reported. While they were snowed under with work they still found a way to give countless hours of time to help me with this issue. We spoke on the phone and via email multiple times everyday and I am thankful for that.
With it being Christmas in 4 days it's going to be hard to get much more done over the next week. I expect it wont be until the New Year now that anything else will happen.
I can confirm all of your addresses and details have been sent to all of our fulfilment partners and I am confident we will start shipping at the start of January.
As I say, I will be live on Facebook in just under an hour and will happily answer any questions.
I am truly sorry that once again we have to go through this, and as I did last time, I promise I will solve this in the best possible way and will deliver everything I have promised.