2019 Coronavirus Updates
Over the last few weeks we’ve received a number of questions about the coronavirus and its impact on orders already placed as well as future orders. We want to update you on what we know as of today 2/12/2020. It is our hope that you will have the information you need to discuss the supply chain situation with your customers and properly set their expectations for the coming months.
We will periodically be updating our website with any significant changes in conditions. You may check back here to see the most up-to-date information.
Feel free to contact us with any questions and we will respond to your request.
-The Simba Team
NOTE: Coronavirus DOES NOT Affect In-House Express Products
The coronavirus is only affecting the production time for overseas custom products. Any in-house custom express product are still produced at standard production time of 3 – 5 business days. We STRONGLY recommend that you consider an express product as we can guarentee production time.
As you are likely aware, there is a worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The outbreak originated in China during December of 2019. Concerns about the virus began to grow towards the middle and end of January.
The outbreak started spreading at a high rate roughly the same time that Chinese New Year began. In case you aren’t aware, Chinese New Year is like the Holidays here in the USA and most production facilities close for up to 2 weeks. Many people take time off and travel to their home Province to visit with family & friends. After the holidays are over, they travel back for work.
The Chinese government initially attempted to contain the virus by extending Chinese New Year by a week. As the virus showed no signs of stopping, they started quarantining and forbidding travel between some Provinces. Public transportation and other facilities where people congregated were prohibited from operating.
The current situation is many facilities are “open”, but there are still many restrictions and other issues that are severely affecting production. The major issue is that workers simply cannot physically get to work due to the quarantines and transportation restrictions.
Below is a set of questions and answers that should be helpful in providing guidance as to what to expect in the coming months.
Q: I already have an order being produced in China, how long until it arrives here?
A: Officially, many production facilities are reopening. In fact, several of Simba’s production facilities have just reopened this week. Others have been rescheduled by the government to open later in another 1 – 2 weeks. However, this does not mean production will return to normal quickly.
In many cases it is difficult or impossible for many Chinese workers to physically get to work. These workers are still stuck in their home province due to the restrictions on travel and related quarantines. As a result, many production facilities are “open”, but production rates are approximately 50% or less than normal.
In addition to the ongoing labor shortages from quarantines and travel restrictions, there are also shipment delays, massive order backlogs and many other issues related to obtaining necessary materials to produce products.
We are reviewing all current order shipment dates as the facilities come up to speed. We currently estimate the following delays:
- 1 – 4 week delay for orders that were being produced prior to Chinese New Year.
- 4 – 6 week delay on any order placed during Chinese New Year.
Q: When will I have an updated in-hands date for my order?
A: We are reviewing all orders’ production statuses as the facilities reopen. As soon as we get this information, we will contact you with a revised shipment date estimate.
Q: How reliable are the shipping dates that are being updated?
A: We are using all the information available to make our best estimate. We cannot give any firm shipping dates until the production facilities are back up and running normally. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any in-hands date with these overseas custom products during the production recovery period.
Q: What if my previous order will not meet an in-hands date anymore, what are the options?
A: Based on the order requirements, and what options we have available to us at the time, we will work together and review all reasonable options. Then we can jointly determine the best course of action.
Q: I have an event that needs a recognition product for (medal, coin, lapel pin, etc.), what are the options?
A: Some good news, Simba still has a lot of options! We offer hundreds of Express custom decorated products from our North Carolina and California facilities which can be produced in just 3 – 5 business days. Everything from Medallions, Lapel Pins, Coins, Name Badges and a lot more.
If you are looking for a product with a soft enamel like finish, then our Texture Tone™ process is highly recommended. Texture Tone™ creates a 3D look & feel that simulates soft enamel but can also do gradient artwork & full color. Standard production time is just 5 days.
If your customer is looking for a budget option, our Vibraprint™ 4 color process (will create a page to link to) is a great solution. It can be used on hundreds of products and paired with specialty labels for unique effects. Standard production time is just 3 days.
Q: I want to place a new custom overseas order, what is the production time currently?
A: We estimate that any orders placed will require at least double, maybe even triple, the amount of time during this recovery period. There are some products which are unaffected and retain their normal production time (like neckbands & patches for example), but most have been affected.
Q: When will production return to normal operations and lead-times?
Q: Is it safe to handle packages sent from China?
A: According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control in the US), the current knowledge is that the virus spreads via human to human contact. People must be within 6’ of respiratory droplets to be infected. Currently there have been no cases of the virus in the USA associated with imported goods.
Here is CDC’s official response from the CDC.gov Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods.”
Q: How do I ask another question?
A: Feel free to contact us with any questions and we will respond to your request.