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How is the Global Supply-Chain Crisis affecting the Art Glass Industry?

How is the Global Supply-Chain Crisis affecting the Art Glass Industry?

Ever wonder what happen to the prices and availability of the DIY Night Light Kits? The prices for a simply night light sky rocketed starting in February of 2021 because all the distribution channels inventory were gone and anyone who had a nightlight was selling them individually at 3 to 5 times what they were worth!! But Wait, there is more...

The bigger issue started last fall, the third quarter of 2020. Gift items like metal functional gift findings were hard to locate for the holiday supplies. Why did this happen? The changes of the previous Administration in the white house implemented new global trade policies. Most of did not notice because it was directed mostly at China the most. China reaction was to not want to abide by the US trade policy but they could because they knew they could control the shipping industry.

What is essential to international trade the most? Shipping containers, you know, the large steel boxes we see stacked on top of even bigger ships. They are the primary essential key to all international trade. Guess where 85% of the shipping containers are made, of course, China!

Stay with me and let us follow those shipping containers...

Most Shipping Companies, Leasing Companies, and Container Distributors do not have their own manufacturing facilities. The majority of these companies simply contract with a Steel Fabricator that specializes only in the manufacturing of 'shipping containers', i.e. yes, that would be China. China started in 1995 to rapidly take over control of the industry from Europe and Southeast Asia.

China's surging rapid growth as a global manufacturer of many products and commodities and now they are also the manufacturer of 85% of the worlds Shipping Containers. 

So instead of abiding by the US trade agreements, China bypassed the US trade agreements, went directly to the Shipping Companies and made a deal to give them a bonus for every "Empty" Shipping Container they brought back to China. Of course this is a win/win for the Shippers as empty container uses less full to transport; empty containers are faster to load and need less labor. The shippers were making more money on all fronts.

Where does that leave the US?

- We cannot obtain shipping containers

- Exports sit on the docks aging out the enclosed loaded products

- The US companies that ramped up production to meet the new US trade agreement export quantities, well, they literally were left holding the bag

Where does this leave the Fusion Glass Supplies? Let us fast forward to the most recent events that are causing even more rippled effects on us all:

- More than three weeks after the skyscraper-sized Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal; there is still a backlog of vessels (holding shipping containers)

- Vessels that took the long way around the Suez Canal, cost more in fuel to get their goods to their destination and that cost has to be passed on

- As of April 2021,

- There are California port delays with shipped stacked up trying to dock

- There is a global container shortage

- Customers will likely face rising prices

- There are limited options as commodities become increasingly difficult to obtain or produced

- Companies are forced to compete for containers and delivery dates

Just when we are all fatigued from the long COVID restrictions, struggling to keep our business a float, and products in our homes, there are only signs of price increases and product shortages coming in the near future. Let’s hope this all stabilizes by the end of the summer!

Here at Go Fusing, we are doing our best to keep the prices down and more importantly restocking in larger quantities and sooner than when we need in order to keep your needs fulfilled. When the prices go down, we will try to pass that along to you. Make sure to read the weekly newsletter or let us know what you are looking for. Remember just because it may not be on the website doesn’t mean we can’t get if for you in our weekly distributor orders.

Our recommendations: plan ahead, ask for a pre-order when you can and when you login, make that project wish list to include options.

We asked for your continued support and patience and we all navigate the challenges that are affecting all of us!

24th Apr 2021 Ann Sanborn

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