Delivery Situation Update: 5 November 2021
NORTH ISLAND DELIVERIES OF VESPEX CURRENTLY SUSPENDED
What is the situation?
After a detailed discussion with our courier partners, and investigating the situation with other courier service providers, we have been forced to suspend deliveries of Vespex to North Island addresses until further notice. The South Island is currently unaffected by this issue, and delivery of items other than Vespex (e.g. bait stations, gloves, signs) is still available to all regions of the country.
How long until deliveries of Vespex to the North Island are possible?
We are constantly monitoring the situation with our courier service providers and also looking for other potential solutions. Based on the advice we have to date, it is unlikely we will be sending Vespex to the North Island before the end of November, and we may face restrictions to North Island deliveries until early January.
What are the issues?
The current courier delivery crisis in New Zealand is principally caused by the Covid-19 restrictions (especially in Auckland). There has been a massive increase in online shopping, while at the same time the courier companies have had to increase staff spacing in sorting areas. They have had to employ and train large numbers of new staff and put them on split shifts to try and get through the backlog. Unfortunately, the backlog of parcels awaiting delivery is still increasing to the point where even finding space to hold parcels has become an issue. This situation has impacted ALL courier companies in New Zealand. To make matters worse for companies shipping from the South Island, the numbers of Cook Strait ferry crossing have greatly reduced due to both scheduled servicing and unexpected breakdowns.
Why is Vespex delivery affected in particular?
Packages containing Vespex are classed as dangerous goods for transportation purposes, and NZ transportation services will not send DG goods by air. This means all our North Island deliveries of Vespex have to go via a Cook Strait ferry, which adds a day or 2 to delivery times. Vespex is also perishable. Although it contains preservatives and can be thawed and refrozen, it can still "go off" if kept warm for an extended period. Think of it like bacon. We pack Vespex frozen in chilly bins with Thermogard gel packs, which is usually adequate protection. Under "normal" situations we can get Vespex orders to North Island urban addresses in 3-4 days, but allow up to 7 or 8 days for delivery when things go wrong. It will gradually thaw en route but is good to be used or refrozen on arrival. Unfortunately, the current courier crisis situation has led to some delays of 8 days or more for the North Island, and especially those in Waikato, Auckland and Northland. These delays and any need to replace Vespex for our customers are entirely at our cost. In the last week we have attempted to send out replacement Vespex only to see those also delayed, and possibly requiring replacement. This has quickly developed into a significant financial loss at a time when we are already facing a raft of increased costs, and is obviously unsustainable.
What are the options for those who have already paid for Vespex but don't want to wait
We will be in contact with all customers from the North Island who have paid for orders and have yet to receive their order, and will offer a full refund if they don't want to wait. Alternatively we will ship the product to them as soon as we have the opportunity to do so with a high chance of success.