The Charlie Brown Method of Overseas Shipping

Published by: Michelle Nephew

The current state of ocean shipping is only barely short of apocalyptic.

Our excellent game Dice Miner was ready to ship from the printer on December 22. Normally, we'd expect a container to travel from a factory in China to our Duluth warehouse in five to eight weeks. It's now mid-April, and Dice Miner is still sitting in our printer's warehouse in Shanghai, waiting for yet another sail date. At this point, it's missed SIX sailings in a row, that we know of.

Why? Our original booking was a “blank sailing.” This turns out to be a logistics term of art that describes a ship that plain didn’t show up where it was scheduled to be. And then we had another blank sailing, and another. We have now completed our transformation into a collective Charlie Brown, to the the global logistics chain’s Lucy.

You cannot imagine how frustrating this is for us. We’ve expanded the scope of destination ports we'll accept to literally anywhere in North America. Of course, we’re also told that the current lag between a ship’s arrival in Los Angeles and the time it's unloaded is about three weeks, and then it still needs a rail or truck booking. But as our Sales Manager Travis Winter says, get it to a coast and he'll rent a truck and go pick it up himself if he has to! Just getting the games on a ship would at least be some progress.

For the moment, our factory partners have been extremely tolerant of the situation. They have other clients in the same boat (ha!), and understand our predicament. The good news, the bad news, and the ugly news are all the same, though, in this case: The transit timeline is out of our hands, and we'll get the games when we get the games. Still, our sincere apologies to all our backers and fans, and our thanks for your incredible patience.


Behind the Scenes Dice Miner