Delays in shipping Cover Boards has been the number one issue facing Steelmade in the last few months. We understand how frustrating this can be for our customers! Many people are writing in wanting to know why it's taking so long and why we can't provide a better estimate on when they will be shipping. For those who are looking for a better explanation on what's causing the delays we wanted to provide a deeper look in this article.
Cover Boards are a very popular accessory for Steelmade Flat Tops. These items are handmade by Kansas Craftsmen from American Lumber. While these have always been an item that was produced at high quantity and kept in stock and ready to ship, factors beyond our control have forced us to delay shipping these items for several weeks due to lack of supply.
3 things have happened because of the COVID Lockdowns that have directly impacted our ability to deliver Cover Boards in a timely manner.
- Nationwide lumber shortages - COVID Lockdowns across the country, legally mandated worker restrictions at mills, and increased demand have severely limited supply of lumber. Despite our efforts to buy ahead and buy in increased quantities, wood mills simply do not have the lumber to sell. You can learn more here: https://www.capitalpress.com/ag_sectors/timber/why-is-there-a-lumber-shortage-in-the-u-s/article_70382602-54fc-11eb-a16b-934c0ae1c18f.html
- Shipping Delays - Severe weather across the midwest the last couple of weeks caused significant delays in freight shipping. We receive lumber by the truckload out of Minnesota and Wisconsin and trucks were unable to travel during the terrible ice and snow storms last month. We are just now receiving orders that were due weeks ago.
- Increased Demand - We've seen incredible demand for our products over the last few months, far exceeding any reasonable projections. The graph below shows the sales increase in Cover Boards since November. We moved quickly to increase production with the hiring of employees, building expansions, and purchase of new equipment. All of these improvements have not been able to overcome the lack of lumber supply described above as some machines set idle waiting for materials to arrive.
We are continuing to work around the clock to build and ship Cover Boards as quickly as possible. We are working to provide accurate ship dates for our wood products, but with the unpredictable arrival of material we are just making the best guess we can. We are shipping the in-stock portion of orders on time and split shipping the Cover Boards at no additional charge as soon as possible. For customers that do not wish to wait, we are providing immediate refunds for the Cover Board upon their request for cancellation. Most orders are being fulfilled in less than 6 weeks.
We have also partnered with local investors to build a local wood mill with kilns to harvest and process our own lumber which we hope to be online at the end of the second quarter, 2021.
We sincerely appreciate your patience during this historic and challenging time. Please know we are doing everything we can to get orders shipped out as quickly as possible. If at any time you wish to cancel your order you can contact our support team via email at email@example.com or via the chat function on our website.