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Stark Drive And The World is in a Shipping Crisis

06/17/2021

To say that the pandemic has affected the world is an understatement; Country borders are closing, travelling has become an unpredictable gamble where you do not know whether or you can even board a flight let alone deplane at your destination. 

The manufacturing industry has also taken a hard knock and we have noticed a dramatic effect on the manufacturing of Stark Drive.  Our suppliers are taking longer to fulfill our orders and even once we get a bike assembled, simply getting it on board a vessel has become something that flirts with impossibility.

Larger companies such as those in the clothing industry with margins in the 50-100% range will stop at nothing to get their products onto container ships so that their fashion conscious customers can ensure that pandemic or not, they are following the current fashion trends.  Container shipping normally costs in the range of $2000 for a 20ft container pre pandemic but these costs have escalated into the unbelieveable range of $20,000 or even more per container.  Note that historically there was always an oversupply of space on a container ship so it was a buyers market so to say.  When the pandemic hit, container manufacturers (those that actually make the containers that are used to ship products) closed at first meaning that no new containers were being made, then when china cured covid country wide and these container manufacturers went back to work they did not go back to business as usual and work hard to catch up with manufacturing for the eager and impatient companies interested in shipping goods.  Instead they slowed down manufacturing of new containers and with the majority of countries in a trade deficit with china many containers would leave china but few would return to be used again. 

Stark Drive does not operate with margins of 100% nor do we operate with 50% margins.  Our company has and and always will sell the most affordable electric bikes in the world and that means margins in the low %s.  

Having spoken with logistics companies in china, we were surprised to learn that what historically was a buyers market for shipping has turned to a sellers market with container shipping companies and their associated agents dictating how much they will accept to send products.  Even though the actual costs to ship product has not increased these agents are living in the lap of luxury with huge margins on their shipping contracts.  


To add insult to injury, once we do actually manage to get our bikes onto a boat and it makes its way to the destination, they now become stuck at the receiving port because most of the world is still going through the scourge of the pandemic and ports are understaffed or suffering from pandemic related restrictions on staffing. Boats can be sitting for weeks in the harbour waiting to offload. 

https://www.businessinsider.co...

It really seems counterintuitive and duplicitous to me that those, where the pandemic first reach pandemic proportions, are not working to reduce the impact of said pandemic but rather looking to profit off it.  

We will continue to do our best at Stark Drive to get your bikes out to as quickly as possible and we have a batch in production right now so for those that decide to order a custom bike the manufacturing time will be dramatically less than our website 120-160 days.  We are shipping this batch in July 2021. 

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC