Book 6 & 7 Updates
(updated July 23rd, 2021)
ALL ORDERS PLACED BEFORE JULY 1, 2021 HAVE SHIPPED! Orders placed after this date will ship next week.
EXPECTED DELIVERY (USA): 5 - 10 days after shipping.
EXPECTED DELIVERY (INTERNATIONAL): 3 - 5 weeks after shipping.
To be sure you get the tracking-number email, please add the following emails to your contact/safe list:
We know ALL of you have been waiting patiently for this book - we can't thank you enough!
Unfortunately, the routine process of shipping goods from China has become the bane of many Kickstarter projects since October 2020. It's been a nightmare since. To provide more clarity on what happened we have detailed a lengthy explanation of all the production delays.
Detailed Summary of Delays:
Several complex factors have contributed to the delay - below we have constructed a timeline with detailed explanations for those interested.
projected time: 1 year
actual time: 1 year, 3 months
Total Delay = 25% longer than expected
manuscript sent to printer December 14, 2020
When our Kickstarter began, Italy, the first European country to be hit with Covid-19 ended its first nationwide lock down. There was a great sense of optimism that the virus could be contained and perhaps disappear by the summer. Talk of a second wave seemed more like science-fiction than reality.
Unfortunately, it was wishful thinking.
As the virus continued to spread over the summer and fall of 2020 and lockdowns returned, our "projected artwork" deadline was pushed back by 12 weeks to mid-December, mainly due to disruptions to the lives of our staff and artists.
We submitted our completed manuscript to the printer on December 14th, 2020.
projected time: 5 weeks
actual time: 10 weeks
Total = 100% longer than expected
Printing complete February 28, 2021
Chinese National Holiday, February 2021
We were mildly surprised Covid-19 caused only a 25% delay in the artwork submission - artwork submission is often the most unpredictable part of the book-making process (even without pandemic issues). With only printing and shipping left to go, we figured we were in the clear for any further delays. Both of these stages are straightforward with little volatility.
Printing was calculated to take 5 weeks but took 10 weeks due to staff shortages and a massive increase in demand for printed books. A further delay came from a 2 week long Chinese National Holiday in February 2021.
It was assumed once factories in China (and other parts of the world) opened up, it would be business as usual - factories would simply restart projects they had stopped or paused and work would resume at a furious pace. The reality, however, was very different. Four main factors resulted in major production delays.
1. ORDERS PILE UP. Facing an uncertain future and unable to produce anything for months due to strict lock-downs, factories continued accepting orders they couldn't realistically deliver on schedule (unwilling to turn away any source of revenue). This ultimately resulted in major backlogs as manufacturers resumed operations. Of course, these delays only came to light months later - after customers began complaining to the media about long delays.
2. REDUCED POST-PANDEMIC PRODUCTIVITY. There were a great number of reasons for this: businesses could not, or would not, recall all 100% of their laid-off employees; operating with reduced staff levels instead. Some employees remained home to look after their families. Other workers felt it wasn't worth the risk to return so quickly and opted to remain on Covid-19 relief benefits. And some workers took this opportunity to look for jobs in other industries. These factors combined with new Covid-19 restrictions at the workplace (such as mask-wearing, contactless operation, daily testing, and social distancing) resulted in a major decline in post-pandemic productivity.
3. MASSIVE DEMAND. As a stock market crash and stay-at-home orders hammered businesses around the globe, a sputtering economy was rescued by an unlikely hero - consumers stuck at home with nothing to do! Flush with cash from personal savings and various stimulus programs, consumers went online to drive a tsunami of online sales. This continued steadily while many factories were still shutdowns or experiencing reduced operation.
4. BUSINESS LOANS. Faced with complete economic collapse, governments across the globe acted swiftly and boldly offering "partially-forgivable" and/or "near-zero-interest" business loans. Many businesses took advantage of this lifeline. To qualify, businesses had to spend these loans on non-deferable operational costs within an allotted time. And spend they did - contributing to an almost 30% increase in China's trade deficit with the world.
Shipping (a real nightmare)
projected time: 1.25 months
actual time: 4.5 months
Total Delay = over 350% longer than expected
Books Loaded onto ship (China), March 8
vessel departs China port, March 20
vessel arrives in US, May 12th
arrival at warehouse: July 10th
Shipping begins: July 18th
Shipping was expected to take 6 weeks but took over 3 times longer - 20 weeks!
There have been numerous articles written about the major delays caused by container shortages, port congestion, and US Customs delays (we have included a number of them below).
Here is the quick breakdown: This global shipping nightmare started late September 2020 and has been ongoing since then. Due to a massive increase in consumer demand, all ocean freight was basically heading in one direction - from China to the rest of the world. Because the US had shut down all domestic distribution centers and warehouses, shipping containers piled up for many months. This caused a global container shortage. Typically, containers are off-loaded and replaced by mostly empty containers that sail immediately back to China to pick up more product (and the cycle repeats). However, as ships remained anchored in US waters waiting for empty containers to take back with them, ports became congested (many container ships are the size of small cities). Meanwhile, back in China, orders continued to pile up waiting for empty vessels to return. The compounding effects of container shortages, port congestion, and Customs delays were made many times worse by the volume of non-stop online sales.
SURGE PRICING: During this chaotic time shipping companies, seeing a gold-rush of demand, began offering "premium delivery" to have shipments expedited ahead of earlier orders. All of this has caused an insane escalation of shipping rates, as the largest and best-funded companies fight to pay outrageous shipping rates to move their product to the front of the line. In some cases, rates for shipping have increased almost 300% since November 2020.
Here are some articles that detail many of the points above - they are all quite recent; which gives you a much better look at what the last 6-8 months have been like for ocean freight. Feel free to read them if you're interested:
ONCE IN A LIFETIME:
Nothing like Covid-19 has ever happened in living memory. As the world reopens and finds its feet, we are confident we will never experience a shipping delay of this magnitude ever again.
Team Masters Of Anatomy
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Masters of Anatomy is a publishing company that brings a fresh, new perspective to the concept of Anatomy and Character Design books.