Urgent delivery is somewhat common in China manufacturing.

From time to time an importer needs their merchandise yesterday.

This could be because stock is running out.

Maybe you’re selling to a brand, they changed their launch date and expect you to perform a miracle.

Perhaps the factory is dropping the ball and now time you once had is gone. The sample took too long to make, too long to confirm and now their ain’t much leeway.

Usually mixed in with all the reasons is because buyers start projects too late.

Along with quality, an urgent delivery is another aspect to manage.

The time aspect is fraught with it’s own perils.

On top of assuring the factory ships good quality, you’re now managing all of the variables in hopes of clearing the urgent delivery time hurdle.

Even if if the factory confirms the urgent requirements, obstacles still rise up like the death angel, destroying what you thought you meticulously planned out.

Molds break

If you’re doing a custom item that requires tooling, the possibility exist for the mold to break. We had a recent case that took forever in getting the sample right, confirming the sample…all sides dragging ass.

Finally, everything confirmed and production starts.

Then the mold breaks.

This requires repair time.

You may say that you need to better construct your molds from the beginning. I guess… but when it comes to low-cost production, stuff’s gonna break, regardless of checking this, checking that.

Just be prepared for the possibility.

Power outages

That time of the year is coming.

The grid is hot and stressed.

Too many factories, too many people and inefficiencies.

Over the sweltering days of summer, nothing melts your urgent delivery time hopes faster than hearing that dreaded decree.

You got bumped!

This translate into “another buyer is more important than you”.

It’s just business, never personal. Another larger, perhaps more loyal buyer, has to get in their order.

There’s other buyers and salespersons within one factory. They’re also working to put their order through.

The supplier never really thought too much about what they were confirming

Yes the supplier said they could do it.

The dates are on the invoice.

But truth be told, the supplier was never fully concerned about it.

They were hoping they could do it but if they cannot, what’s the big deal about 10 extra days, right?

What’s of hyper importance to you is never that important to your vendor.

Remember that.

Whether it’s timing, quality, “getting something right”,  they’re never as invested as you are.

Factory sorta tires of the whole damn thing…

You went back and forth on samples forever.

The order is finally confirmed.

It’s their busy season.

Buyer is harping on timing. Sending emails, WeChat messages ad nauseam…

Sometimes, the supplier counts the cost and decides a buyer isn’t worth keeping.

Customs checks

This is sort of the final barb in a comedy of perfect errors. Production problems, power outages but the container finally leaves.

You’re planning on the distribution and the goods have to quickly get off the vessel and clear customs.

Then you get the notice email from your freight forwarder.

Please note that we just received notice that this container has been flagged by CBP for exam at the port, will keep you posted.

Container flagged.

It’s possible to successfully execute an urgent delivery time.

I’ve been a part of successful, urgent deliveries many times.

You’re walking around 10 feet in the air when it’s done right thinking you are the Babe Ruth of importing and everything is possible and solutions and fast actions and ra ra ra!

I’ve also been caught up in the myriad of obstacles that come up during the process.

I recently managed an order that included all of the above jewels and then some!

You tell the client that everything is on track, then wham a delay notice.

You go back and tell the client that NOW everything is on track..then wham, another delay.

At this stage, your credibility has slowly oozed out.

You may have to eat a big loss-of-pride sandwich, but above everything else, assure the factory focuses on quality.

Rushed timing leads to more quality issues.

Or at least it gives the factory something to blame…