We are aware that container deliveries are coming through from China and since the outbreak several containers of custom-made shutters have landed on UK shores and been distributed out to our customers. There are naturally delays at both ends of the chain, beginning with China getting containers to port. Having containers shipped has been delayed due to extra checks in place throughout the country, and a backlog of goods that has arisen as a result of this. On arrival to the UK there are also more rigid safety precautions put in place, which makes exact haulage dates difficult to estimate. However, delays are days as opposed to months.
We are optimistic that the making of shutter panels and delivery of such items is catching up and lead times have started to fall back into place. We have worked with our supplier and the Nien Made product for over 18 years. This special relationship sees high priority unloading of our orders on arrival to ports which has allowed us to remain confident that our customers will receive their orders with haste on arrival to the UK. As 70% of the UK shutter industry use the same supplier, this very much keeps us ahead of the game.
Clearly there are smaller scale Chinese operations and other fabricators that lack depth in resources who might assemble their shutters in another country, but many of them are also wholly reliant on profiles and components from China. Although on face value lead times may seem shorter for these fabricators, they are often as reliant on these imports as China based factories such as ours with notably less material storage management.
Installation of shutter orders have been taking place as usual once received at our base here in Battersea. Our in-house team of expert fitters are on hand whenever a shipment of orders arrives to ensure that shutters are installed either on the day, or within a couple of days of arrival based on customers availability.
We are closely monitoring situation as it unfolds and the spread of the virus across the UK. You can rest assured that we are on hand to help in any way we can, answering any queries you may have and providing your home with some lovely new shutters with procedures in place to keep staff healthy allowing operations to run as normal.
In summary, despite the fact the virus is perhaps becoming worse in the UK, we feel that as long as imports are allowed to continue, that as far as we are concerned we will continue to work hard at Plantation Shutters through the ongoing worldwide battle.
What should I do if I am self-isolating?
If you are self-isolating for any circumstances, we kindly ask that you re-arrange any measure appointments or installations that you have organised with us until you are back to full health or have finished the quarantine period. This will allow us to continue to protect our members of staff, and by extension our clients, from contracting illness from homes of those at risk of passing the virus on.
In light of these extra measurers, although our cancellation period still stands at 24 hours, if you do fall ill and need to cancel your visit within this 24 hour period please let us know. We will happily re-arrange or cancel your appointment, wavering the £50 fee in the interest of wellbeing during this period.
Can I get coronavirus from mail and parcels from China or other affected areas?
There continues to be no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted from post, packages, or parcels from worst affected countries such as China. However, rigid safety procedures do remain in place on goods both on departure and arrival to ports. The Maritime Health Declaration form is required from all vessels arriving to the UK from any foreign port which requires a statement that any passengers or crew on board are of good health. This is supported with a temperature check before the ship can dock and unload. This is being strictly adhered to as an extra safety precaution.
Will my shutters be delayed because of the virus?
There is an element of the unknown here and the short answer is that we hope not. Our lead time accommodates extra time required through this period and is currently approximately 8-12 weeks from placement of order. Safety checks at ports have stabilised and become more efficient so our supplier is happy that orders are shipping out as effectively as could be expected at this time. Should any delays be incurred on your order, you will be notified promptly on receipt of the news from our supplier – we will always be transparent and look to book you in for installations as soon as possible to enjoy your lovely new shutters.
Is your Showroom still open?
As much as reasonably possible we will continue to keep our offices and showroom open for our staff and visitors. We are closely monitoring the daily changing Government guidelines around the virus and following their instructions accordingly. Whilst there are no reported cases of the virus amongst either our partners or staff at present, here's what we are doing to ensure we can protect you as much as possible:
- If you are not feeling great, we ask you to postpone your visit with us until you’re feeling better.
- Upon arrival we will let you know about our hygiene facilities that are on hand throughout your visit.
- We will always extend a warm welcome to you either on site or at our showroom, but for the time being this welcome won’t be accompanied by a handshake or any other physical contact.
- We ask for your help in washing your hands thoroughly as often as possible. Every single member of our team has committed to frequently washing their hands thoroughly as an extra hygiene measure.