OK you order a pallet of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as Masks, Gowns, and Disinfectant Wipes and Hand Sanitizer from China.
Come join me and follow its journey to Los Angeles and see how does it get here and why it takes so long.
It starts at the factory. It produces the PPE and then it has gets packed or palletized then loaded on the truck. Then, it’s off to the port – let’s say Shanghai, China bound for Los Angeles, California.
But, you’re not the only truck wanting to get to the airport, so get in line and wait. The trucks are presently waiting 4 days in line in orders to offload at the airport.
So one might ask how does a truck driver wait in the truck for days. Well, the answer is he doesn’t. Enter a scooter…you’ve seen them – or a motorcycle.
When I was in China there were thousands of them including bicycles on the roads. I actually drove a motorcycle – that’s another story…
Picture this – a motorcyclist or a scooter drives up to relieve the truck driver in line. Then they switch out so the truck driver can go home and sleep. After all you don’t want to lose your place in line.
When your truck enters the gate finally, next you have to unload the pallets and go through the next phase of inspection and staging.
Both take more time – sometimes a full day or more. At one point it was 8 days.
These pallets were lined up as long as the eye could see.
After that point it gets to staging – it must be inspected as mandated so that quality goods are being shipped according to FDA regulations.
In our case (no pun intended) the boxes have to be opened randomly by an inspector. Every pallet and every lot number gets several boxes randomly opened up.
They are inspected to make sure the proper FDA paperwork and products are there.
Chinese customs inspectors are overwhelmed at the choking levels of congestion due to the tidal wave of export orders for PPE.
They are trying to manually inspect all the medical supplies after the mandated quality checks due to the “bad apples” and fraud for selling junk.
Masks are particularly difficult, as they are packed in loose cartons. It takes up to 6 times longer to prep these for palletizing.
Here’s another fact. Before this crisis, warehouse usually had to prepare one or two containers of material to load onto a cargo bay of a plane.
Now, they are loading up to 14 containers on a passenger plane modified for cargo only.
I go into more detail a bit later in this article. Just imagine the paperwork !
After inspected then are properly re-sealed up (as best as possible) – The goods are sent on to be loaded.
In our situation the freight will get loaded onto a plane – if the plane is still there – more in our next post… See our previous article Ship Happens
Contact us if you need a hand securing PPE for your organization.
We have an FDA approved Masks, KN-95, 3 Ply Pleated, Hospital Gowns, Hand Sanitizer and FDA, EPA Spray Disinfectant (Made in USA) that kills COVID-19.
Let’s help the hospitals, clinics, churches and universities, and other small businesses get back to work safely !!! Click here for more info.
Remember, we’ll all get through this together. Plan ahead, be careful, keep your distance, wear the mask, gloves and whatever else is needed.
But most of all “Trust and Obey – for there’s no other way” as the songwriter wrote in 1846 click here to read the lyrics.