COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on shipping containers from Ghana to North America and, unfortunately, it has put us out of stock on some sizes of cocoa butter and coconut oil until about mid-April.
Our apologies. We know you depend on us and we always want to be there for you. Unfortunately, we were blindsided by delays in container shipping that started around Christmas time with no warning.
Find out more about what happened and how we are preventing this in the future below.
Ghana – North America transit times have doubled and tripled with our containers often waiting 1-2 weeks to get on a ship from Ghana to Europe. Then there is sometimes up to 6 weeks wait in Europe to get on a ship to North America. And, at the same time, the shipper’s website and booking doesn’t show that so you have no idea what the actual dates will be.
We have a container that should have been arriving at our warehouse this week or early next – those were the dates we got when we booked it. But, we sent it to the port to load on the weekly ship for Europe and that shipment was cancelled two weeks in a row. Then the shipment got to Europe and has been delayed two more weeks.
It is now scheduled to sail to Montreal next weekend and then by rail to Vancouver to clear customs. From there we will haul it to our warehouse – hopefully receiving it and being able to ship by mid-April.
Covid has also caused some challenges with getting our products in Ghana but we have mostly overcome that.
While it is easy to just blame the shipping lines we need to take some responsibility too. Thanks to all of you, our sales volumes have been increasing rapidly. This was already putting a strain on our inventory and our inventory management system.
We should never have let ourselves get in a position where a two-month delay in shipping puts us out of stock on anything. The supply chain from the villages in Ghana to our warehouse and on to you is long, but we know you are depending on us to manage it better. Here is what we are doing so this will not happen again.
- We are investing in a dynamic inventory management system that will not only let us know our inventory status on a daily basis (from production in Ghana through to our shipping and warehouse) but will also have the ability to incorporate sales and growth data and project our inventory needs more accurately.
- We have increased the buffer so that we will always have a four-month reserve of inventory.
- We are shipping containers at more frequent intervals, even if that means they are not fully loaded, to ensure no delays in receiving needed inventory.
- We have hired an amazing lady to lead Finance and Admin and she will have direct responsibility for the inventory system. Much better than me trying to manage it while I am in Ghana.
Thanks so much for your understanding and our apologies for the disruption. Hopefully it is short and our new policies and plans will prevent it from happening again.
If you would like to know when these products are back in stock, you can sign up for notifications on the product page, or email email@example.com.