I'm coming to you with a very heavy heart.
I have absolutely no excuse on why a product that was supposed to be shipped out in May, or June, or even early July hasn't shipped yet. My brother and I 100% own the mistakes here and we are certainly not going to point any fingers.
However, I wanted to personally explain to you what happens behind the scenes on a larger scale.
So that you can have a better understanding on how the pandemic has affected our overall operations and decide if you'd like to stay with our Ariel Rider family or not.
Over the past year the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to have residual effects on our supply chain, creating a domino effect of issues not only within our industry, but on a global scale.
I'd like to start with what has changed in manufacturing, specifically within our industry.
EFFECTS ON MANUFACTURING
Before covid, from ordering parts to putting the containers on a ship - it used to take about 45 to 60 days. In most cases, we were able to finish and send earlier.
However now, they take about 6-7 or in some cases up to 9 months.
Just to give you an example; we're using Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and we specifically use these as they're one of the most reliable brands in the market. We do not want to put a lesser part on our ebikes, especially when it comes to the brakes.
When a big company like Tektro says "We'll deliver your order with a 4 months delay" a few days before they were supposed to be at our facilities, there's not much you can say. It's a my way or highway kind of deal with industry giants in most cases. So things can and often do change at the very last minute, leaving us very little time to notify our customers accordingly.
I know this can be very upsetting for everyone, which is the last thing we want. We know that this is your hard-earned cash, and rightfully so, you want to enjoy your ebikes during the summer months. We want you to know that we fully understand the impact these delays can have on summer plans, trips, commuting, and overall daily activities.
EFFECTS ON SHIPPING
Another issue which has been one of the most challenging, is the international shipments. Before covid, it used to take about 25 days after production to receive the bikes to our warehouse. This process includes finding a container, booking a vessel, customs clearance, and inland transportation here in the US.
Now, there's a global shortage of containers due to the exponentially increased demand. Finding containers can add anywhere between 2-4 weeks to the process. It then takes another month or so for the vessels to reach the port. The vessels then wait in open seas for a green light from the port to dock, which can take anywhere between a week to a few weeks, it’s honestly unpredictable. Once it's docked and containers are offloaded, we just wait for them to be released.
Typically it used to take only a few days to pull the containers to our warehouses. Whereas now we’ve had containers waiting to be released for well over a month recently, which is unlike anything we’ve previously experienced.
Since there are lots of containers being released at the same time, we can't even find semis to go to the port to pick them up! We book them, and they don't show up. In most cases, we're overstaying our LFD which is the last free day to pick up a container, and then we start paying a daily fee for the containers that stay at the ports.
We usually put time buffers on each preorder batch, for about 2 months, but we're still exceeding these dates and I wanted to explain the reason for this so that you will see why it is happening and why in most cases there’s short notice.
I do not want to give false hopes. Realistically we have about 3 containers of D-class being released next week, if your order is within these 3 containers or not, our customer service team will let you know in another email later today. The rest of the containers are not certain yet, which will potentially be another 3-4 more weeks of waiting. It all depends on the previously mentioned operations that are unfortunately hard to predict and out of our control.
Same goes for the Grizzlies, we have about 3 containers of Grizzlies that are scheduled to be released in 2-3 weeks, the rest will likely be released at the end of August (with some time buffer there to set the expectations right), if your order is within these 3 containers or not, our customer service team will let you know in another email later today.
Now, should you decide to wait for these orders, we'll issue all of you $200 refunds to your original payment methods. Should you decide to cancel your order, please let us know and we can process this right away without any fees.
Again, this is one of the hardest, if not most difficult messages that I have ever had to deliver to our customers. We're constantly trying to get updates to you as we hear more news, but it’s difficult as things are constantly changing.
I'm aware that due to the recent circumstances, we’ve lost some overall trust and faith in our communication & operations.
Here at Ariel Rider we are constantly looking for ways to improve, using each challenge we face as a learning experience for how we can do better the next time.
Regardless of you staying with us or not this time around, I appreciate each and every one of you, and if not this year, we'd love to see you in our Ariel Rider family sometime in the future.
Thank you & stay well.