Wednesday, 5 March 2014

09:02 – Barbara said the drive to work was messy yesterday morning, but by afternoon the streets were generally clear and dry. It never did get far enough above freezing to melt off the sleet and ice, but I guess the sunny, breezy day caused the frozen stuff to sublimate. Now the forecast is calling for more winter weather either tomorrow or Friday, depending on which forecast you believe. This has been the harshest winter since I moved to Winston-Salem in 1980. It seems we’ve had frozen stuff on the ground more days this winter than we normally have over the course of five years or more.

I’m currently making up chemicals for international kits, which got me thinking about international shipments. Until now, we’ve been shipping to any country that USPS will allow us to generate a postage label for. So far, there haven’t been any major problems, but shipping internationally exposes us to a great deal of risk. Frankly, I don’t trust the postal systems in many countries, and if they don’t deliver we’re on the hook for the cost of the kit and the postage, which is significant.

So I’ve decided to limit international shipments to the ABC countries: Australia, Britain, and Canada. The vast majority of our foreign shipments go to those countries, and the vast majority of that majority go to Canada. So, in fact, I may decide to limit shipments to the US and Canada only. Doing that would eliminate maybe 3% of our business, but there’s more risk associated with that 3% than the other 97% combined.