By Matt Gibson
Daryl the GM here who looks after all the shipping logistics alongside Gary has asked me to pen an article on the unprecedented development with shipping to keep our newsletter community informed with some of the challenges that we are currently facing in this area. Presently we have 35 motorhomes that are built and awaiting delivery to New Zealand, so I have outlined some of the reasons below why this has occurred.
As you are all aware during the Covid19 pandemic many dealers were having difficulty obtaining stock from overseas manufacturers, but we were very fortunate that Pilote in France managed the factory very efficiently during this time and 90% of our orders were filled in a timely manner. There were some delays but generally it was pretty good in the challenging environment which is something that myself and Elias from a sales front along with our valued customers appreciated very much.
To add a level of security during this time of uncertainty Pilote in France introduced a price protection policy to ensure that any pre-purchased motorhome had guaranteed fixed pricing which was great peace of mind for our customer base. As a company we absorbed any fluctuations in currency and shipping costs to also ensure fixed pricing. Because of wider industry manufacturing delays during this time, many of the shipping companies reduced their fleet of vehicle transporters which in turn reduced the capacity for RoRo (Roll On Roll Off Cargo) which our Motorhomes are shipped via.
Then in December 2022, quarantine inspections in Australia identified seeds and pest in vehicles inbound from overseas ports which is thought to stem from vehicles sitting in paddocks and storage facilities during the global supply chain blockages, so they have introduced strict biosecurity measures to ensure there is no risk to the country which has greatly increased the time that vessels have to spend in port, causing a bottle neck effect with vehicle transporters sitting at sea awaiting a spot in dock to unload often for weeks at a time. These additional delays are having a cascading effect to transporters to the Australasian region, so the problem continues to snowball as we are at the end of most shipping routes, we are further impacted by delays up the line. Some shipping companies are now even avoiding the route which has led to larger vehicle manufacturers, including cars and farm machinery units shipping to Australasia, to flex their muscle and purchasing power to prioritise bookings for their own stock which has further decreased the opportunity for the likes of us that move fewer units. Added to the mix is a shortage of workers and truck drivers to clear the backlogs.
The fantastic news though is, that Daryl has worked extremely hard and has manged to secure transport via an alternative company to who we have used in the past for importing from a different country to have the stock units that are manufactured delivered here. As of the end of August five units per week will depart from Europe and will sail to New Zealand via Singapore which will clear the current back log prior to the upcoming RV season. Something that we are all very much looking forward to, it is great that we will have an excellent supply of new Pilote and Le Voyageur motorhomes available to meet the current demand so if you are looking to purchase new, upgrade, upsize or even downsize make contact and we can talk though the various options available, we welcome your enquiries.
Deluxe RV Group