Importance of Buying Ahead in a Post-Pandemic Economy

Container ships like this have been stacking up all over the world for months.

In the last three weeks, you’ve probably heard about retailers deciding to start Christmas sales really early, meaning some time this month. Those retailers are not crying wolf. Rather, they’re about to come up short trying to stock their shelves for the December rush. To avoid buyer disappointment their best solution is to buy earlier.

A break in the tent industry supply chain.

Of course, retailers aren’t the only victims of the supply chain crisis. We are too. Like any manufacturer, we face a worldwide supply chain problem that requires us to work harder and longer to get product built and delivered to our distribution points. That’s particularly the case for the articulated loaders we order factory direct from Avant Tecno in Finland. Like all machinery manufacturers, production has been slowed by chip, conductor and even engine delivery delays. While we have ordered a record-breaking number of machines, we can’t be sure we’ll get all of them delivered by June. We suggest to tent and event companies who are seriously considering Tent OX: please don’t procrastinate if you’re looking to take delivery in time for the 2022 season. If this applies to you, skip to the end of the article to see our estimate for delivery.

Explaining the shortage issue.

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor of Journal of Commerce, wrote in late September, “The failure of importers to move their containers from the docks to their warehouses in a timely manner is the root cause of congestion at both East and West coast ports, terminal operators say.” The ripple effect from such congestion continues to affect manufacturers whose products depend on materials that come to the States by ship. We order our loaders factory direct from Finland and manufacture our 13 Tent OX attachments and related products in central Pennsylvania. Both face shortages which slow the flow of Tent OX Systems.

Distribution points used to look well stocked, like this. That’s not the case any more.

Compounding the problem: a labor shortage.

We’ve talked to close to 300 tent and event rental companies over the past several months. They tell us that the tightening labor pool is hampering productivity. Additionally, they say that many crew members who lost work in 2020 have not returned to the event rental sector, lured away by less physically demanding work that may pay as well or better. To combat that shortage, an increasing number of companies this year turned to Tent OX this year to take up the slack. Their decision to take the plunge is based on the promise that Tent OX can cut crew requirements nearly in half for a typical job and slash time to complete each job by 35% – 50%.

Unfortunately, dramatically increased demand this year, combined with supply chain slowdowns that aren’t going away, means that ordering early is the only way to ensure having a new Tent OX System on the job in 2022.

There’s some urgency in this, and not just because of delivery lead times. Container shipping freight rates from northern Europe to the US East Coast climbed 210% between April 1 and September 23 this year, according to a Sept. 24th article in MarineLink, a major maritime news organization. It’s impossible to say if rates will climb further. But locking in a Tent OX deal earlier than later has the potential to save you some money.

If I order now, when will I get my Tent OX? 

At present, we think that if you can order by close of the MATRA tent show in November (it ends November 11), there is a fairly good chance you will have a new Tent OX for most, and possibly all, of the 2022 season. The bottom line is this: we understand that you want what you want when you want it. But these are unusual times. The best way to be confident of getting a Tent OX – or any product you want to put in service next season – is to buy early when possible.

Lock in your Tent OX today for delivery in 2022!

The best place to get started is right here. Contact us here or give us a call at 1-800-878-0065 and let us know what your needs are. We will give you our best, and most up-to-date advice about getting you outfitted in time for the New Year.