Thursday, January 21, 2016

Solving the Shipping Problem


It took a wee while but eventually our shipper, DHL, solved the case of the missing Nutshells.

If you follow here you will know we have a shipment posted early December that 'vanished' into the black hole of the global postal services.

Even though we now ship every product with a tracking code, over a dozen products mysteriously took time out someplace and went to ground.

Because it was the silly season (aka Christmas), the mails get over busy and trying to locate anything that does not want to be located becomes a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack...or in a more biblical term, harder than threading a fat man through the eye of aforesaid needle.

However all has now been sorted; the errant products have made themselves known once again to the system and the blockage has been cleared. Our customers, who are so long suffering it is remarkable we have not yet been tarred and feathered and run of out of town on a rail are 'finally' getting their orders...more than a month after they were dispatched from us here in New Zealand.

If there are lessons to be learnt here it is that no one should ever voluntarily become the testing lab for a new service. It appears that the service we have chosen is a comparatively new one to New Zealand and, possibly because we have been in the business of global trading for so long, we unwittingly became the 'test platform'.

It is as yet unknown if we can get compensation from DHL; as a global shipper it is likely we are no more than a flyspeck on the lower corner of their windscreen. Apparently over the Christmas season DHL was shipping 50 tonnes of mail, every day, across the pond that is the Atlantic, from their central hub in Europe to the USPS postal service at JFK International airport in New York. And it seems that it is there the mystery mysteriously deepened.

As they (apparently) say...all's well that ends.

I surely do hope that is true.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Perils of Shipping worldwide

For many of our customers shipping is a 'no brainer'. Something you never think about.
You order a product. It arrives. That is the end of it.

But when, like us, you are shipping from the other side of the planet, delivery can be a difficult thing.

Not only do we have to put up with the vagaries of the weather, which can delay a flight from here to there and add to the time it take to get delivered, but there is constant concern that something may go dramatically wrong with a shipment; imagine how people must have felt when their products vanished because they are on a commercial airliner that either fell out of the sky or disappeared without trace!

Luckily this is a very rare occurrence...and has never happened to us. Until now.

Recently we were excited to sign with DHL for delivery of our product worldwide. Not only do they have an outstanding reputation as a global shipper, they enable us to track every product that leaves our facilities in New Zealand - all the way (almost) through to delivery to the customer.

When added to yet another shipping service called 'aftership' this combination is one that we have been awaiting eagerly ever since we started this business almost 18 years ago - that is some time!

Still...we are mortified to report that DHL - or someone somewhere- seems to have dropped the ball.
A shipment we sent December 3 has gone missing. Obviously our affected customers are less than happy with us. Understandably we are not that impressed either.

In a world where shipping is everything...we feel our reputation is in jeopardy. While most customers are extremely forgiving and understanding, some take such disruption personally and have not been slow in venting their displeasure to us.We in turn have passed our concerns to our local DHL customer representative, who have, in turn, escalated the issue through the shipper's global delivery network.

Because every package has a tracking number on it we believe the errant items will eventually make a reappearance. Unfortunately it may not be soon enough to forestall our replacing the missing items or finalising a refund.  Such are the joys of being a global trader in a world where one small error can cause a long-lasting downstream effect.

To all those long standing Nutshell customers...thanks for being so understanding. If you are one who has been caught in this assured we are working hard to untangle knots in the shipping string.