Darby’s Recommendations for Navigating the Supply Chain

You’ve seen it on the nightly news.  You’ve read about in the newspaper, you’ve experienced it first hand at your local hardware store, your grocery store, and during your online shopping session: supply chain issues are impacting every business and everyday life. Simply put, the entire world is still feeling the impact of COVID-19.

Shipping containers are piled high at the port of Los Angeles.
(LA Times – Mario Tama / Getty Images)

Inventories are low

As it relates to wire mesh and wire cloth, here is what we think you need to know and what you can do to combat these supply chain issues:

As an example, one of Darby’s most versatile and economical products, Galvanized Hardware Cloth is an item that is imported from overseas. When the global pandemic started, manufacturing was initially suspended. When manufacturing resumed, necessary safety protocols slowed down production. When it came to container shipping, limited bandwidth to process large amounts of cargo led to very long delays.

So long story short, inventories are low across the country, not just in wire mesh and wire cloth, but also children’s toys, electronics, and clothing.

Darby’s recommendation: be smart, act quickly, and plan ahead. For example, if there’s a particular wire mesh specification you need, do not delay in starting the quote process and finalizing your order. This is especially true if your quantity requirements are significant. When you delay in finalizing your order, you run the risk of stock outages.

Lead times for custom manufactured items and/or fabricated parts are extended

Oftentimes, we supply custom manufactured and/or non-stock specifications, both in large opening sizes, say 2” x 2”, or in small opening sizes, 20 x 20 Mesh or 60 x 60 Mesh. By and large, the lack of raw wire availability, significant delays in transit, and shortages in labor continue to contribute to longer lead times.

Darby’s recommendation: be smart, act quickly, and plan ahead. When looking for a custom manufactured item, a non-standard specification, or a fabricated part, please plan ahead. Start the quote process sooner than later, and be ready and willing to place your order as soon as possible.

Finally, be sure to discuss your lead time requirements with us. To give you a frame of reference, Darby was founded in 1854, before the US Civil War. We have survived and thrived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and a handful of other perilous situations. Trust us: we are positioned well to help you during a global pandemic!

Darby has been around forever!

Shipping is taking much longer than expected

It should not be shocking to hear that US logistic carriers, like UPS, FedEx, T-Force, Ward, A. Duie Pyle, and XPO are pushed to the limit. When major distribution and logistics companies no longer offer guaranteed service and when major companies like Amazon have scaled back their 2 Day Prime offerings, shipping is a major obstacle to overcome.

Darby’s recommendation: be smart, act quickly, and plan ahead. Do not wait until the last minute to order wire mesh. Review your timeline and do not delay.

Keep this in mind: Darby might be able to process your order in a single day; however, if UPS does not make its daily pick up, your shipment will be late. As we get deeper into December and the holiday shopping season is in full swing, we encourage you to assume that delays will occur and what was once “normal shipping days in transit” will no longer apply.

Please free to contact us at [email protected] should you have any questions.