The Dry-Bulk-Goods Shipping crisis and Gaming

Note, this article was originally posted on my Facebook page. If you’d like to see the comments of some effected industry folks, check out the discussion HERE


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Bear with me as this is worth a read.

So, in the last twelve months one of the biggest industries in crisis is dry bulk-goods shipping. These are the massive container ships that transport bulk-goods (such as for instance, between manufacturers in China that manufacture almost every board game you’ve ever played, or take huge shipments of product between a certain factory in Lenton, UK and other Warehouses all over the world).

Why is this relevant to you, dear Miniature Wargame enthusiast?

Well, very often this is how small companies receive the models they produce for Crowd-funding. It is how large companieshave their goods transported from cheap manufacturing solutions to their own warehouses for local distribution.

The impact is two fold;

1) There are a lot of goods (104 container ships from this Bankruptcy alone!) in limbo. They won’t approach land as they’re afraid the goods aboard will be seized by Creditors. That means that other peoples goods, for instance copies of the Cool Mini or Not game ‘The Others’ (as reported on their Kickstarter Page) meant to ship out to customers are simply un-retrievable for an unknowable amount of time while Hanjin dissolves. Gamemat.eu had to negotiate the release of their Restock of neoprene mats as they ship landed hours before bankruptcy was declared but had no capital to pay for unloading. This kind of disruption would simply sink a small crowdfund, or even cause significant financial hardship to established ones.

2) Costs of shipping in bulk continue to rise after their crash in 2008 (when the market had too many ships and not enough goods being moved because of the US Housing market bubble impacting the world economy). As more and more of these companies are unable to keep above water (ha!), you will see this increase in cost passed along to consumers.

So give it a read. When you wonder why things cost what they cost, these are the rainy days companies sometimes don’t plan for, but that can cause enough damage to shut doors permanently.

UPDATES: Matoush Hlousek from GAMEMAT.eu has posted below some of the real-life impact of this on his business. Give it a read.

Jason Larsen has posted a great TED talk link as well from someone researching the shipping industry if you’d like to learn more.

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~ by Achilles on September 13, 2016.

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