November 26 - December 29
As pre-manufacturing continued, we started to hear rumblings from the factories that manufacture our proprietary inverters and MPPT charge controllers that they had still not overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and their lead times may be longer than originally planned. It is apparent the pandemic may be having a larger effect on these countries than we are seeing in the news.
During this time, our manufacturing and ocean freight partners also began to report major delays. In some cases, it was taking them more than a month merely to schedule an ocean shipment for products all ready to go. On top of that, we have been hearing reports that container ships have been sitting in harbor on the west coast for days on end, waiting to be unloaded.
This news caused us great concern, and we have been working with every part of our supply chain to find out what is really happening, so we can give you a solid estimate. The process of getting realistic lead times on critical components and realistic shipping timelines has been frustratingly slow. As time dragged on, we became more and more in danger of missing the Lunar New Year, a national holiday in which all manufacturing in most of Asia shuts down for basically the month of February.