*** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

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#1 3. April 2020 - 15:38
Dollstudio
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*** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

this is a follow-up thread to *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus - factories remain closed on TDF which covered the timespan between January and March 2020. This thread covers the ongoing situation starting in April 2020.

The older thread covered the situation in the early stages of the virus outbreak, beginning around end of January and early February 2020 when Chinese factories remained closed after Chinese New Year holidays. Back then, there were less then 10,000 confirmed cases with the novel coronavirus worldwide. The majority of cases was reported from the first epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The Chinese government locked down the whole city of Wuhan starting January 23rd. In the following days, more cities in Hubei district were shut down; in early February, restrictions were extended to most other districts in China. At a time when the industry would normally resume production after CNY holidays, migrant workers could neither return to the factories, nor were the factories allowed to open.

In the following weeks, the dates for re-starting doll production were postponed week by week and it became obvious that the novel coronavirus outbreak would not only affect doll production, but global supply chains as well. Mid of February 2020 the first warning signs for the global economy showed up when an increasing number of airlines canceled flights. In Asia, some countries were able to confine further outbreaks by aggressive testing, contact tracing and strict NPI measures. Most notably, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea could avoid being overwhelmed by the virus. In mainland China, it took until March for doll makers to even partially resume operations. But at this point in time, the crisis had already shifted elsewhere.

Due to horrible political mismanagement and refusal to understand the exponential growth function of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most Western countries failed to prepare for the virus outbreak and new epicenters emerged in Iran and Italy, and starting end of March in Spain and multiple states in the United States. When the WHO finally recognized the actual scale and declared a pandemic, cases with COVID-19 were reported all around the globe. Basically a full month (February) was lost for containment and preparation, and at the beginning of April, the outbreak exceeded one million confirmed cases around the globe.

In early April, there are now more new cases everyday worldwide than China had reported at the peak of their outbreak after about six weeks. With numerous lockdowns in Asia, Europe, and North America, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is causing massive social and economic disruptions far beyond Ebola, SARS and MERS outbreaks. The magnitude of ripple effects caused by shutting down the global economy will be comparable to the effects of the Spanish flu if not worse as millions of businesses worldwide shut down because of restrictions and lockdowns; factories are closed and people can not go to work; in the U.S. alone, just after one week of the lockdown, six million people registered as unemployed. Central banks all around the globe have started to print trillions of currency for financial aids and bailouts.

Clearly, the novel coronavirus is not only affecting the doll business, but all areas of our lifes. In early March 2020, most of us are under stay at home orders in various degrees; many of us can not go to work anymore or need to work from home. At this point in time, most Chinese doll makers have resumed production, but demand has decreased and logistics chains have been severed. Not only passenger flights have been cancelled, but air cargo capacities have been reduced, too, which leads to rising costs for air cargo. Fedex and TNT have terminated huge segments of their services, and regular post does not deliver to numerous areas, including China and the U.S.

In this thread we will keep monitoring the developments with focus on the doll business in context with global developments.

6. April 2020 - 1:39
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

another quick doll tracking update:

Overview:

  • Completed from new orders between Dec 3rd and Feb 1st: 4 (Climax Doll, Happy Doll, Piper Doll, Sino-doll)
  • Completed from new orders after Feb 1st: 1 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from stock: 1 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from replacements: 1 (Doll Sweet)
  • Backlog completed from recalled: 1 (Ildoll)

Shipments:

  • Order date: Dec 3rd (Ildoll) / destination: US / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Dec 23rd (Happy Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Dec 31st (Doll Sweet) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: no (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 22nd (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Jan 31st (Piper Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 4th (Sino-doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 20th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Feb 7th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: no (UPS)

Since Fedex suspended Intl. Econonomy shipments with destinations in the U.S., only a few shipping options remain available. Among them is UPS, but they do neither provide tracking information nor do they state a scheduled delivery date. So one shipment to the U.S. is en route with UPS, but all we can see at the moment that it was exported from Shenzhen a week ago. After that, tracking isn't updated anymore.

Another shipment is en route to Germany with the UPS special line. This shipment uses a gateway in the United Kingdom which is very unusual. This might indicate that the regular gateways in Hungary, Germay and the Netherlands are currently not operational and/or overloaded.

Sandro

15. April 2020 - 21:09
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

as of March 15th, Worldometers list 2,017,810 confirmed COVID-19 infections. The highest number of infections is reported from the U.S. with 614,246 cases, followed by Spain, Italy, France and Germany each with six-figure case numbers. A total of 23 countries is now reporting 10,000 or more confirmed cases.

As of today, the most deaths are reported from the U.S. as well (26,064); follwed by Italy, Spain, France, and the UK.

In most areas with NPI measures, the number of daily new cases decreases slowly, so the exponential growth can be stopped successfully by lockdowns and physical distancing. However, the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 is only (more or less) under control in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and, if the reporting is credible, mainland China.

Sandro

22. April 2020 - 1:03
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

as of today, U.S. crude oil price dropped below $0 a barrel for the first time in history:

At the moment it is not possible to predict the fallout from this. However, for the economy it's probably not good at all.

Some updates regarding doll shipments from mainland China:

  • Preparing shipments and exporting seems to take currently one week and up;
  • traveling time to EU destinations seems to be around four weeks and up at the moment;
  • customs clearance takes a variable amount of time due to limited personnel capacities at the clearance authorities.

If you add the lead time to make the doll, the total waiting time from order placement until delivery seems to be between two and three months until air freight capacities have been geared up again.

Last but not least there is still some uncertainty to factor in for delivery. With very few exceptions, most carriers allow the courier to sign for the delivery, so shipments might be left at your front porch or wherever it seems to be appropriate. So it's recommended to keep an eye on tracking in case the courier forgets to ring. Keep in mind that you will have signed even if the package is not being handed over in person.

Attached pictures
23. April 2020 - 4:03
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

and yet another doll tracking update after two CLM R3 torsos have been finally completed. These orders date back to the end of January respectively the beginning of February, so getting these torsos completed took a whoppin' three months. Before this crisis took over, and R3 torso took about a week for manufacturing and another week for shipping to the U.S. We can only hope that these times will come back someday.

Overview:

  • Completed from new orders between Dec 3rd and Feb 1st: 5 (Climax Doll, Happy Doll, Piper Doll, Sino-doll)
  • Completed from new orders after Feb 1st: 2 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from stock: 1 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from replacements: 1 (Doll Sweet)
  • Backlog completed from recalled: 1 (Ildoll)

Shipments:

  • Order date: Dec 3rd (Ildoll) / destination: US / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Dec 23rd (Happy Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Dec 31st (Doll Sweet) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: no (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 22nd (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Jan 27th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: no / delivered: no (N/A)
  • Order date: Jan 31st (Piper Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 4th (Sino-doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 20th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Feb 5th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: no / delivered: no (N/A)
  • Order date: Feb 7th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)

The last shipment from Climax Doll, a miniature CLM-100 Plus+, made a little detour but finally arrived with UPS.

The Doll Sweet shipment to Germany with the UPS special line is now on its way for the 4th week without an update yet. According to tracking, it departed from China on March 30th, and similar to CLM's R3 torsos took three month to get manufactured. So if you are in a hurry, this might not be the right time to purchase a doll.

Even though three shipments are still en route, as of this update we have now fulfilled all major orders (torsos, complete dolls and the like). That's a huge relief.

However, the question is now if keep offering dolls under these conditions – many weeks lead time to make the doll, freight costs higher than product costs, excessively long shipping times, questionable servicability and so on – would be a good idea. So for now, our sites remain closed.

Sandro

28. April 2020 - 22:58
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

as of today and after over a month of a more or less global lockdown, Worldometers lists over three million COVID-19 infections worldwide and the number of active cases is closing in on two millions.

Worldwide, every day are around 80,000 new cases being reported; that's approximately the total of cases China ever reported at the peak of their outbreak. So the exponential function has been successfully flattened, but the massive NPI measures are only slowing down the spread. Since it is economically not feasible to continue the lockdowns for months, this raises the question how it could be possible to return to some kind of normality.

As far as international trade is concerned, the figures I hear are: There is still a decrease of air cargo capacities by about 90%, and on the sea route there is a decrease of traffic by about 30%. The remaining carriers are prioritising their limited capacities, so obviously medical equipment for hospitals is supposed to travel faster than sex dolls.

Sandro

4. May 2020 - 0:03
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

and yet another doll tracking update.

Overview:

  • Completed from new orders between Dec 3rd and Feb 1st: 5 (Climax Doll, Happy Doll, Piper Doll, Sino-doll)
  • Completed from new orders after Feb 1st: 2 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from stock: 1 (Climax Doll)
  • Backlog completed from replacements: 1 (Doll Sweet)
  • Backlog completed from recalled: 1 (Ildoll)

Shipments:

  • Order date: Dec 3rd (Ildoll) / destination: US / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Dec 23rd (Happy Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: no / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Dec 31st (Doll Sweet) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: no (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 22nd (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Jan 27th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 31st (Piper Doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 4th (Sino-doll) / destination: DE / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)
  • Order date: Jan 20th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (Fedex)
  • Order date: Feb 5th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: no (Fedex)
  • Order date: Feb 7th (Climax Doll) / destination: US / factory photos: yes / tracking code: yes / delivered: yes (UPS)

One on the CLM torsos traveled with UPS Worldwide Express Saver to CT, US and got a total of 25 scans on its journy. I haven't seen such a tricky tracking before, the route passed Shenzhen (China), Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong) and Taoyuan (Taiwan), then in North America Anchorage (AK), Louisville (KY), and Windsor Locks & Bozrah (CT). Finally, the shipment was "Received By: Driver Release", and "Left At: Side Door", so UPS still does not do in-person deliveries.

The other CLM torso is still en route to Florida with Fedex; its route went from Dongguan to Shenzhen, then to Sennan-shi (Japan), and from there to the central Fedex hub in Memphis (TN). This shipment is scheduled for delivery on Monday (tomorrow).

The Doll Sweet shipment to Germany with the UPS special line is now on its way for the 5th week without an update yet. According to tracking, it departed from China on March 30th, and like CLM's R3 torsos effectively took three months to get manufactured.

Sandro

9. May 2020 - 16:20
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

another quick sitrep update.

The Covid-19 pandemic has now exceeded 4,000,000 confirmed cases worldwide with major hotspots now in the U.S., Russia and Brazil with five-figure new cases each day. Europe's current epicenter is the UK with over 4,000 new cases every day. The total of daily new cases worldwide is currently above 90,000; on May 8th (yesterday) the number was 97,128.

As of yesterday, there were 276,269 deaths reported (17%) and 1,664,064 cases with the outcome 'recovered / discharged' (83%). Among the active cases, there are currently 2,351,957 currently infected patients with 2,303,246 in 'mild condition' (98%) and 48,711 in 'serious or critical condition' (2%).

On the economic side, this translates to the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. in recorded history, and Wall Street celebrating huge gains as stocks perform better than before the pandemic.

Sandro

23. May 2020 - 22:04
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Hi,

and yet another quick update.

The Covid-19 pandemic has now exceeded 5,000,000 confirmed cases worldwide with major hotspots currently in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, Chile, the UK, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran. All of these countries report four-figure new cases each day, the U.S. and Brazil are even reporting five-figure numbers for new cases (e.g. on May 22nd, +24,197 in the U.S. and +19,969 in Brazil). That's by order of magnitude more severe than the peak of the outbreaks ever reported in China, Italy, Spain, or France.

The total of daily new cases worldwide is now a six-figure number; on May 22nd (yesterday) the number was +107,716. The daily death toll as of yesterday was +5,252 (worldwide). If you permutate this death rate over a full year, the total number would be around 1,820,000. That would be around the mortality of tuberculosis (about 1,600,000/year) and less than, for example, AIDS (about 2,900,000/year).

As of yesterday, there were 340,616 deaths reported (14%) and 2,178,850 cases with the outcome 'recovered / discharged' (86%). Among the 2,818,618 active cases, there are currently 2,774,014 currently infected patients in 'mild condition' (98%) and 44,604 in 'serious or critical condition' (2%).

One of the currently still unanswered question about this virus is its origin and why it jumps across species so easily. According to a popular narrative, it zoonotically jumped from bats to pangolins and from pangolins to humans. Now it jumps from humans to cats, tigers, minks and ferrets – and back from them to humans. That's highly atypical for zoonosis as it normally would take much more time for a virus to adapt to a new host.

Regarding the doll business, not much can be reported. Announcements of further price increases fill the mail inbox basically every other day, and estimated traveling times range between 6-8 weeks and up. Shipping by air freight is almost unaffordable for most destinations. The general alternative is shipping by air cargo (no idea how long that takes) and train, at least as far as European destinations are concerned. Some EU destinations can now be serviced again by the UPS special line, probably even including import fees clearance, they just switched to train and road, and it is supposed to take several weeks.

Regarding shipments from Germany, we can service most EU destinations including Germany. That applies, for example, to Indigo's care & repair products (available as long as supply lasts) and for the Dollworx adapters. However, the German Post has still an "acceptance freeze" for destinations like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. The only destination in North America they process is Canada.

And for most carriers it still applies that the driver can sign for delivery of the package. This might severely spoil your shopping experience in case you order stuff like gold or diamonds by mail Dash 1

Sandro

28. May 2020 - 22:59
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

Living with The New Normal.

The Wuhan virus keeps roaring through the world. The thing, nicknamed as the Honey Badger virus, seems unstoppable at this point in time. If one country seems to have contained an outbreak, it just moves on. During the past five months, the most severe outbreaks first shifted from the epicenter in China to several regions in Asia; from Asia it spread to Europe, and more recently it devastates the Americas and Russia. It is a full-blown pandemic, and there are no safe zones except your own home. There is not a single unaffected area in the world except Antarctica. It's just different how severe particular countries are affected. A little more freedom what you are allowed to do is exchanged with restrictions of other civil liberties like where and when you are allowed to move around, if you are allowed to congregate with other people, and to what degree you are allowed to work.

The world tries to adapt. Wherever outbreaks fade, the virus leaves a new reality, a new normal. At least for the time being, many things we were used to are now memories of the past. Spontaneously getting together with a bunch of friends in a bar, visiting a orchestral concert or just goint to the movies is no longer possible in many areas of the world. If you want to make a meeting with two dozends of friends, you might be required to register the event, ask a government authority for permission, and file a list of attendees with authorities. In some countries everything involving physical contact is restricted or even forbidden. Going shopping in a supermarket might require you to wear a face mask and/or gloves; if you go to a restaurant, they might register your name and address before you are allowed to enter. If someone in the restraurant becomes sick, you might be contracted and put under quarantine.

Nobody can tell if or when we will get our old reality back. Going on vacation or traveling the world might or might not be possible next year, nobody knows. At the moment – as of May 2020 – a very limited degree of movement is possible. For example, you can fly from Italy to Germany. But flight capacities are limited, the tickets are expensive, and you need to go into a 14 day quarantine when arriving at your destination country. When the quaratine is over, your vacation might be over, too.

So how is this New Normal characterized, and what does it mean for the doll business in particular?

  • The most noticable effect is the waiting time. Before the Chinese virus emerged, the total waiting time from order confirmation til delivery for a doll averaged between 3 and 6 weeks. This is different now. Most Chinese manufacturers have resumed production, but logistics operate with severely limited capacities. For example, just shipping a doll from China to an EU destination takes 6 weeks and up. Plus lead time to make the doll.
  • The second most noticable effect is pricing. Similar to other industrial sectors, costs have increased, mostly due to higher shipping costs. To compensate for cost increases, pricing has become volatile. We are trying to calculate prices so that they do not change by the hour, but a price offer can not remain valid for weeks or even months anymore.
  • Last but not least there are shipping restrictions for certain carriers and destination areas. This applies at the moment, for example, to shipments from Germany with the German Post to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Within Europe we can more or less freely ship Indigo's products, and from China to the U.S., Australia and New Zealand there are still shipping routes available. But shipping anything from anywhere simply does not work at the moment.

Besides these three major areas there are a couple of ramifications which can not be fully assessed yet at the moment. This applies, for example, to replacements and repair materials. Indigo's TPE Repair Kit uses original TPE material from Chinese manufacturers, and this supply line is currently interrupted. If we can not re-stock raw TPE material, at some point the repkit might simply run out. Or if you consider the (rather unusual) case that a doll needs to be returned to China for a major overhaul. Considering the current freight costs and delays for shipping, such a procedure might take three months just for shipping back and forth. And it might be financially not even remotely feasible. Or considering a (more frequently) case of a configuration or shipping mistake; it is not clear how such a case could be handled in the New Normal.

Some of these things might be clarified within the upcoming months. However, one thing is for certain: We all need to get used to the New Normal, may we like it or not.

15. June 2020 - 1:45
Dollstudio
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Re: *** Newsflash *** Coronavirus Pandemic Disruptions

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