High DemandAnd Lead Times
We’re Experiencing High Demand and Extended Lead Times . . . but it’s not all bad news
Page last updated 24/11/2021.
Huge demand mixed with delays outside of our control mean that, whilst we're working extremely hard to deliver all customer orders, we are encountering some delays. Despite the challenges, we are still delivering outdoor living products to our customers. We are a small, family-run business who values each and every customer and are working around the clock to answer calls, respond to emails, and send out orders.
Please note that all pre-order dates on our website are estimated and are subject to change. Due to the ongoing delays and disruptions of international shipping affecting our industry, White Stores cannot be held liable for any delays in delivery of pre-order items. For customers who require goods in time for a special occasion, we would recommend only ordering items labeled as In Stock.
We would like to advise you that for the quickest and most-up-to-date tracking information you can visit our hub and online knowledge base: whitestores.zendesk.com
Our Order Process
In order for you to understand a little more about placing your order, below is what our order process would look like in a "normal" year.
We can assure our customers that all of our orders for 2021 were placed with our factories in 2020 (excluding any re-orders of sold-out lines). However, the challenges mentioned previously have increased this process by an average of a further 3 months
Rest assured, we are working around the clock to communicate with our factories, shipping partners and logistics teams to get your furniture to you as quickly as possible. We are still producing and delivering top-quality garden furniture and outdoor living accessories, that has not been compromised in order to beat delays and is still the high-quality, long-lasting furniture that you have come to associate with our brand. These outdoor living products are designed and made to last years and we promise it’s worth the wait.
Please see below the latest information on the issues that we're facing regarding the global shipping crisis which is impacting goods arriving from overseas.
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Increased freight rates and container crisis
With freight capacity constrained, demand continues to exceed supply on Ocean and Air.
Equipment shortages caused by Covid and the Suez blockage continue constraining capacity across Ocean and Air. We anticipate this lasting throughout 2021¹
Ocean: Carriers have restarted blank sailings to ease port congestion². This will further reduce capacity whilst improving schedule reliability and reducing cargo rollover. Based on yearly trends, we expect westbound traffic to continue increasing.
Air: Vaccine transport will further consume available freight capacity. Demand for cargo is up 4.4% from pre-Covid levels, but available supply has dropped by 17.8%³
Rising consumer demand (+23.5% YoY)4 and superstores’ attempts to refill inventory quickly will further push limit capacity across Ocean, Air and Road.
Rates continue rising due to global factors: prolonged lockdowns, Suez, and vaccine rollouts
Ocean: despite initial hopes for more available capacity and equipment after Chinese New Year, the Suez Canal blockage and backlog continues to drive rates up. We expect these to remain inflated throughout 2021.
Air: high Ocean rates are causing White Stores to shift modes from Ocean to Air for high-value cargo. This has caused air rates to increase by 17% between March and April 2021. We expect rates to keep rising throughout 2021. Any easing of travel restrictions would add more cargo capacity to the market and help stabilise air rates.
A statement from Far Logistics
Recent reports suggest a shortage of 60,000 - 80,000 HGV drivers, impacting every aspect of the supply chain and particularly final mile deliveries from UK ports, warehouses and distribution centres into retail and consumer outlets. Despite these ongoing challenges we continue to invest and support our strategic partners and aim to maintain a high level of service to our customers.
Delivery Lead Time FAQ's
We thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we deal with all queries and delivery updates please below for some FAQS:
"The delivery date says June/July/August, will I receive my items any earlier?"
These dates are as accurate as possible given the information we have on the location of our goods. We are conservative with our dates in case there are any delays, so the date you receive should be the latest it will arrive, but this is only an estimated delivery date. If the date changes for any reason you will be informed accordingly.
"This item has gone out of stock, when will you be getting more in?"
It is unlikely, if an item has gone out of stock that it will be back in stock this year. However, if you register your interest on the product you will be emailed when we have restocked this item.
The estimated delivery date has changed since I last looked, why has this changed?"
Our items are in high demand, and with so many people placing pre-orders, the availability of our items is always changing. To secure a delivery date for any item, we recommend placing a pre-order as soon as possible to reserve your place in the queue and to guarantee you get the items desired.
Do you delivery to Northern Ireland/Ireland?"
Currently due to the pandemic restrictions, we have temporarily halted international deliveries, including to Ireland and Northern Ireland. We currently cannot confirm when we will be able to resume this service.
Contacting White Stores
At White Stores, we are committed to offering quality customer care as well as great value products. In these unprecedented times, we are confident we can still deliver on this promise.
If you prefer to shop over the phone or have a question for our customer care team, please do note that this increase in demand has had a knock-on effect on our call volumes. We ask that you please be patient and courteous when on hold. Our experienced team are determined to answer calls as quickly and efficiently as possible. We would like to advise you that for the quickest and most-up-to-date tracking information you can visit our hub and online knowledge base: whitestores.zendesk.com
Additionally, when emailing our team, please be patient when awaiting a response. We will never ignore emails, though we may take a little longer to respond than usual. We ask that you do not send multiple emails as our ticket queuing system takes your most recent email into effect and will push your email to the bottom of the queue. If you have not heard from us in the time quoted, please check your spam folder and then contact us via telephone if you still feel you have not received a reply.
1. Drewry Maritime Research, May 2021 Sea & Air Insights
2. The Loadstar, Return of Blanked Sailings
3. IATA monthly analysis and economic data
4. Statista, Growth in consumer spending in April 2021
5. Drewry Maritime Research, index is weight across 28 major East-West routes for cargoes of 1,000 kg+ (excludes delivery costs)
6. Data sourced from Xeneta as of 1 May 2021, no THC included (To guarantee space and equipment, carriers are applying additional surcharges up to $1,500-$2,500 per container which are not part of Xeneta’s rate aggregation)
*. Air Freight rate forecast