CAS is very blessed that we have close relationships with our factory partners who’ve been able to keep us relatively stocked this year. Unfortunately, as we approach the Fall and this holiday season, the challenges are going to increase so we want you, our customer partners, to know what is currently happening and what you can expect.
Material Supply Issues
Hanwei and Dragon King are primarily forges, and they rely on secondary suppliers to make a few specialty items like sageo that they aren’t able to produce. In some cases these suppliers have had to close down due to Covid and suitable replacements found. This has led to delays in manufacturing as well as changes in materials. While every effort has been made to keep quality high we would suggest that you make note to your customers that colors may vary from the pictured images.
Many of our factories don’t know if they are able to operate almost on a day-to-day basis. The Citadel and Legacy Arms forges were shut down for nearly a year before they were allowed to return to manufacturing. At this moment, it is an on and off production cycle as this new variant of Covid-19 arises around the world.
Tariffs & Costs
The tariffs on China made products introduced in 2018 are still in place. The shortage of shipping containers along with the demand for space on shipping vessels has not only tripled import costs but led to significant delays. In addition, each of our suppliers has reported an overall increase in materials across the board. So far, CAS has been able to absorb these cost increases and will continue to do so as long as possible.
As many of you have noticed, the cost of shipping swords has risen noticeably. The post-pandemic surge in eCommerce has strained the delivery systems of domestic carriers (UPS, FedEx, USPS) to capacity. Both UPS and FedEx raised prices in January and added "peak" surcharges to the equation to compensate for their elevated delivery costs in late June.
The box sizes for swords are not convenient or typical for these carriers to accommodate, and they intend to charge for that inconvenience. This means that you can expect to see inflated shipping costs for the foreseeable future, that is beyond our control. At CAS we have always been mindful of the shipping costs for our customers. With exorbitant accessorial fees such as those for longer boxes and residential deliveries we realize that shipping costs are a large component of your decision to sell our products and we continue to look for alternative ways to save you money.
Because freight costs have become increasingly critical, we want to make you aware that we are doing price checks between UPS, FedEx Ground and USPS and choosing the most economical alternative when preparing your packages for shipping. The term we use is “Best Way".
However, if you prefer us to use one carrier over another please indicate this when placing your order or simply let your Customer Service Rep know to set this as your account preference. If you have a freight collect number associated with your account we will default to this method and forego any price checking.
If you want to save money on shipping and you are a stocking dealer, we recommend that you order in volume (180 – 200 lbs) so the product can ship LTL on a pallet. CAS generally gets good rates on LTL shipments which will eliminate all the additional fees and surcharges.
What Can You Expect from CAS?
In mid-July we received shipments of Hanwei, Dragon King, Kingston Arms, Red Dragon and APOC brands, which fulfilled many backorders for most products. Many items returned to the shelves but most in short supply.
At present, what we have on the shelf for Hanwei is probably all we are going to have for the Fall. We are hopeful that Hanwei will be able to deliver a shipment before the holidays, but this is not guaranteed. Dragon King, on the other hand, is expecting to deliver a container by mid-September.
The APOC brand will be available as well as most of Kingston Arms items even with increased demand. Casstrom, Kizlyar Supreme and Red Dragon has kept us supplied though their situation may change with the rise of the Delta variant of Covid-19. Depending on the European governments’ reaction, it could be on-and-off production and limited supply.
GDFB has thankfully been able to continue meeting the increase in demand. Citadel has been good to supply knives but with the steel shortage manufacturing swords has been a challenge. Inventory for Legacy Arms will most likely be limited to what is currently on the shelf.
To help expedite your orders please use the website for placing them. Not only does this automate the process for us but you can now see the available quantity. We also have the ability to send you automated back order, in stock, and incoming shipment reports if you wish to receive these. If you need your login information, please reach out to your CAS presentative.
CAS continues to strive to make things quicker, more efficient and cost effective for our customers. We will keep you updated on any developments through the Fall. Please let us know if you have any questions.