Are shipments from China being held up?
July 19, 2020 10:22 AM   Subscribe

The Trump-appointed Postmaster General has issued directives that are said to delay delivery of mail. Are delays being applied to packages shipped from China, especially?

I've been buying things from China for years, mostly from, which are shipped by mail. Until early this year, most things arrived about two weeks after ordering. Then things slowed down dramatically. Now, items take two or three months, or longer, to be delivered. At first, I thought the slowing was an effect of the pandemic, but it appears that China has largely recovered. Have others noticed this slowdown of delivery?
posted by Kirth Gerson to Travel & Transportation around China (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Part of my husband's job is in logistics for shipping, and shipping is a lot more complicated than you'd think most of the time! They're a tiny little company with like 6 products, and still they have like 4 factories they work with, which send to a distributor who then sends to 5 separate distributors in different geographic zones, who themselves work with smaller distributors in even smaller geographic zones, who then work with local shipping companies.

All the of the steps of this have been affected by the pandemic, reduced work hours, reduced staff on-site, increased safety precautions that have slowed work, sometimes unexpected sick leave and such as people play it safe. Sometimes a small outbreak occurs somewhere and area businesses are fully shut down for a few days to a week, etc. Communication in most cases has been spotty as people are try to adjust, and then deadlines for arrivals get missed and subsequent shipments end up held at the warehouse for a different way of shipping or whatever as well..

A lot going on! That is to say, I'm not sure if your shipments are being held up on purpose by government action, or if they're just held up by circumstances.
posted by euphoria066 at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

I just recently learned that a fair amount of international package delivery relies upon rented cargo space on passenger airliners. So with a large portion of our passenger fleet not flying due to covid travel bans/lack of demand, space is constrained and shipping is taking longer. International shipping companies that fly their own cargo-only jets (like UPS or DHL) are still running, but those were often more expensive even before the pandemic.
posted by bluecore at 11:07 AM on July 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not sure how relevant it is, but we weekly ship things into China from the US, and nothing has gone through since March. To the point that we have stopped trying.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:41 PM on July 19, 2020

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