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The AmHydro Supply Chain:
What’s Going On?

With the current supply chain disruption, people are seeing the value of locally produced food.

This is where we come in, helping people start their business growing for their community. Normally when someone orders an AmHydro system, it takes us 4-6 weeks to deliver the order. Right now, on average, our orders are taking 10-12 weeks and depending on what the order is, some of our vendors are telling us there is a lead of 5-6 MONTHS.

You may have heard rumblings over the past year or two that global supply chain issues have been exacerbated because of COVID-19. Now, we’re not economists, but we are a part of that supply chain and we know how it’s affected us and our customers.

So what’s going on? Is it something you need to be worried about? And how should you plan to account for this in building your farm?

Keep reading, we have answers!

AmHydro is headquartered in Arcata, California, in the heart of Humboldt County.

We keep a warehouse of our channels and equipment that we use as a distribution point for our customers around the country and around the world. But we don’t manufacture everything in-house. One of our manufacturers is based in southern California and another important manufacturer is based in Georgia.

We’re proud to be an American manufacturer working to produce the highest quality equipment on the market. However, no factory produces these products out of thin air. They import raw materials from all over the world depending on what they are manufacturing. With deliveries now taking 2.5x-6x longer than usual, we know that somewhere along the line, things are slowing down.

Reasons For Delays

Let’s start by talking about the causes of disruption in global trade.

There’s the obvious one: COVID-19 has affected everyone, causing supply chain disruptions both from the disease itself, as well as the necessary steps governments around the world have taken to slow its spread. But there’s also more abstract causes. Some industries, like automotive production, rely on manufacturing chains that have been so optimized for productivity that a disruption at one point in their process can cause a domino effect that affects not only their own chain, but others as well.

From a consumer standpoint, COVID has restricted the amount of travel and dining out for many people, resulting in much higher rates of online shopping and home improvements, which involve a high degree of overseas imports.

The Bottleneck

Right now, the choke point is the ports.

49.1% of imports from Asia pass through Los Angeles or Long Beach. At the end of August, a record 44 container ships were stuck waiting offshore for multiple days to get their cargo unloaded

In ordinary times, it would be highly unusual for even a single ship to be stuck like that. COVID-19 has created an unprecedented swell of cargo being moved, a demand that has not been able to be kept up with by port workers and other logistics professionals.

Wall Street Journal Recently Reported the Following:

“Jean Cerocca, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said seaside congestion could worsen as the peak holiday-shipping season continues. The port has broken the container-handling record for 13 consecutive months. Mr Seroca said the terminals expect to handle 35% more inbound containers in the week starting September 5 and 80% more inbound containers next week compared to the same period last year.”

How Will This Continue to
Affect AmHydro Customers?

You should not notice any slowdowns if you regularly purchase plant nutrition products from us. The most dramatic impacts are in our ability to fulfill larger orders for new systems and growing equipment.

If you’re ordering a new system, you should be prepared to wait 2.5 3 months before we will be able to ship it. Actually getting it from our manufacturing facility to your project base is another delayed step in the process!

So, if you have a business plan to start growing by a certain date, you may need to make your order a little sooner than you were planning.

Alternately, you might simply need to adjust other planned start dates to make sure you aren’t giving anyone else unrealistic expectations. The right way to move forward depends on a lot of factors, and our sales and consulting team is up to the challenge of helping you make an informed decision. (Just respond to this email if you have any questions or want to speak with someone.)

COVID-19 has impacted business as usual for us, just like it has for the rest of the world. But we’re still providing industry-standard service while creating industry-standard products.

If we can leave you with one note of encouragement, it would be this: With all this disruption, there’s a clear need for people to be purchasing produce that was grown near them, not hundreds of miles away.

Hydroponics makes it easy to grow clean food for your local community. We think we’re going to continue seeing a lot more hydroponic farms opening up in the years to come.

If you have any questions about shipping, systems, or anything else, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!
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