Historically, MATCOR has enjoyed an exceptional on-time delivery record, and over the past decade our lead times for anodes have gone down to the point that 1-2 weeks for rush orders is quite achievable, and 3-4 week deliveries are the norm for MATCOR manufactured cathodic protection products. Even through the pandemic challenged year of 2020, we were generally able to navigate the cathodic protection supply chain and avoid delays resulting from material availability.
However, if you are reading the news, you cannot help but see stories such as a Bloomberg’s recent article “Supply Lines: Shipping Delays and Supply Shortages to Constrain Firms all Year” and CNN’s “Supply chain interrupted: Here’s everything you can’t get now”, it seems as if the general state of the global economy is one of delay and disruption accompanied by price increases and surcharges.
In our cathodic protection manufacturing business, we have not been immune to these pressures. We have seen tightening supplies and order delays for key items that we use on a regular basis—from lumber for anode reels to Iridium for the coatings used in our mixed metal oxide anodes. Cathodic protection cable availability, especially for Kynar dual insulated cable, has gone from 4-6 weeks to 15+ weeks.
Another challenge facing manufacturers, in addition to the availability and pricing for materials, is the cost and reliability of shipping channels. Both ocean freight and motor freight are struggling with shortages of containers, truck drivers, port congestion and rising fuel costs. Getting materials to our manufacturing facility and shipping them out is more difficult and less reliable than ever before.
At MATCOR, we have a great logistics team and a very flexible manufacturing team. While our on-time delivery record has taken a step backward, we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our customers, and where required, we are communicating early and often with those affected to let them know of any supply delays that we may be facing.
We encourage our customers to give themselves additional lead time by purchasing materials a little earlier than normal to assure that they have them on site well in advance of their planned installation. Engage early with MATCOR and your other suppliers to coordinate delivery timeframes for both planned projects and for critical timeline projects as we navigate these challenging times.