Coffee Shop

26 Mar 2021,  George Bullivant

Blocked Suez will mean extra delays in Bank Holiday supplies

UPDATED - There were already shortages of garden products before Suez became blocked.  Despite it looking as if canal traffic will resume shortly delivery delays are likely to get worse.

8 Apr 2021,  Sadden Brit
It deeply saddens me that I'm prompted to respond to a negative and jingoistic message, particularly during a period of what should be hopeful and positive. COVID is not defeated, but hugely improved on just 2-3 months ago. Garden Centres are experiencing a huge boom as more of the great British public discover the joys of gardening, people are looking forward to mixing and meeting inside and outside and our fantastic nursery growers are doing their dam best to keep up with demand! 'True Brit', you clearly are searching for a grinder for a very large axe, but your comments are ignorant and naive. When was the last time you passed a bamboo grove growing commercial canes in the UK? Do you have a Samsung or Apple phone, or do you use your cream bakelite dialler from 1976? If all ex-China supply ceased would the UK be able a) To fulfill demand, b) Produce enough economically for consumers to afford? 100% I agree we should do all we can to support good, affordable UK goods, but not based on isolationist nationalism. Enjoy what you can do, don't knock others for doing what they are doing, everyone is trying to earn a living and feed their families.
7 Apr 2021,  Truer Brit
I am disappointed that "True Brit" has managed to infiltrate our beautiful, benign, apolitical industry with these un-informed, racist and politicized remarks. Our great industry's success and growth is, to a great extent, built on the success and growth of China. To voice such extreme opinions, turning against China and, by implication, Chinese people because of a few latent difficulties, is simply not fair. I thought Coffee Shop was a forum for airing industry, not political views?


I believe that onshoring of manufacturing from China and elsewhere is a good thing, but it must be commercially viable which, currently, even at elevated freight rates, it is not. To pretend otherwise is misleading. However, to make the argument for it, as “True Brit” is doing, at the expense of many thousands of Chinese people, many of whom work in and for our industry, is nothing short of contemptible.


All of the True Brits that I know would be horrified at this particular extremist’s views being broadcast under the pseudonym of “True Brit”, someone that he or she, patently, is anything but. And if you are one of the many Chinese working within or for our industry who has seen these comments, you must be furious. I can only apologise most sincerely for the remarks made by “True Brit” that are not at all representative of British people.

31 Mar 2021,  True Brit
The China situation is only going to get worse. They are still building coal fired power stations. They are treating the Uighurs very badly indeed (rape, murder etc). They are building aircraft carriers at a rate not seen since WW2. They are not trustworthy, look at Hong Kong. In short; China have their own agenda. They are not interested in green issues or basic human rights. It really is time to start investing in UK manufacturing. The days of massive profit on imported goods made by what is effectively slave labour are over. Buy British
31 Mar 2021,  Jack Whiteley
Katie Blake containers or lack of from the Far East.
In September last year the world’s shipping lines got together had a little meeting and decided to cut the number of ships available and therefore cut the space available on what shipping was left to sail. The consequences of that is that the price for shipping containers rose from £2000 to £12500, some were even higher. If you consider that Garden Furniture consumes a lot of space in a container you can see that the cost of a Patio Set will have increased dramatically! You get approximately 40 small four seat Patio Sets on a container, so the increased cost is around £250 per set. Retail £500!

Most Retailers understand and have paid the increased price otherwise they would not have anything to sell and guess what, they have sold out within a couple of weeks despite the increased prices. With the Covid 19 lockdown and no holidays people are spending money on their homes and gardens so if we had the furniture it would be a very good season. That is the next problem it is almost impossible to get containers even at the higher price. We have a mountain of stock in our factories but cannot ship it. Our stock is so high that we are renting extra warehouse space in China but at the end of the day we will soon have to stop making as there is nowhere for it to go.

Katie Blake have not been doing too bad getting containers moving, I know some others are having a terrible time and certain Ports in China are more difficult than others. The Port of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam is very difficult we are around 2 months late with shipping from Vietnam. Today I spoke with an outdoor Gas Heater supplier who told me they have sold out until August and when that comes in it is all sold.

Let’s hope this situation ends soon but speaking to the people in the know it’s not going to be anytime soon.
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