As the Robert Burns poem says.... the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Such is the case in respect to our programmed opening for Lava.
Four weeks ago we were advised by our local supplier that the washing machines that were being shipped from Europe and due to arrive in Fremantle last month were in a sea container on a ship sitting stationary in the East Mediterranean Sea after being refused entry to the Suez Canal. After being alerted to the situation we commenced our own monitoring and discovered that the ship is operated by the Hanjin Shipping Company. Hanjin is the 8th largest shipping company in the world and had been placed into South Korean court controlled bankruptcy administration in August which has left some US$14 billion of cargo in some 400,000 individual sea containers on 70 ships stuck out at sea, literally, whilst the company tried to avoid having their ships seized by creditors in various global ports, meanwhile attempting to secure court orders and funding to allow access to ports to unload their cargo.
The ship in which our machines are contained (the Hanjin Asia) spent three weeks treading water in the Mediterranean off the coast of Port Said in Egypt near the Suez entrance until two weeks ago when it changed course and started transmitting its new destination of Singapore.... the long way around the bottom of Africa.
We have been informed that once unloaded in Singapore and on-shipped to Fremantle we should expect the washing machines in Fremantle mid November. Whilst we are continuing to do what we can with the fitout in the absence of the machines, having the machines in position is key to the majority of very precise (read: anal ) shop fitting works and as such by the time we factor in getting back our trades in December, Xmas, New Year.... we have to be realistic and have regrettably pushed back our planned opening date to 14 January 2017.