UPDATE: 5/21 - The rails have arrived and final assembly of Shapeoko Pros is happening right now. We're planning to put Shapeoko Pros in stock on Tuesday morning at 7am PDT.
To say that we're shocked at how hard it is to get parts for the Shapeoko Pro is an understatement. I don't think we could make up this series of events if we tried.
A little history...
Shapeoko Pro availability is limited by the availability of rails; we have lots of inventory for every other part of the Pro.
We had an order of rails scheduled to be delivered in March that would have let us keep Shapeoko Pro machines in stock for quite a while. It was delayed at the factory and then it was delayed in shipping. All of our goods go through the Port of Long Beach right now and it's very backed up. The ship that our container was on floated off the coast for a couple of weeks before being allowed to dock and then unloading took much longer than normal.
Two weeks ago we heard that our rails had cleared customs and were on a truck to our shop in Illinois. We started letting customers know that we should have the rails last Wednesday so machines should be ready to ship last Friday. On Wednesday, the truck showed up and we unloaded the pallets, which contained motors, not rails. We hopped on the phone with the owner of the shipping company, who wasn't able to locate the container with our rails and couldn't explain how they got the two shipments confused. The container with rails wasn't missing per se, the shipping company just didn't know where the it was. On Friday the container was found but it still hadn't cleared customs and there was no ETA for us getting the rails.
Friday night, we get a call from the shipping company saying that they received our next order from the factory and we had the option to put it on a plane this past Monday night. It would cost a lot and we only had 30 minutes to decide. The rails would fly directly to Chicago so they'd only be about an hour from our shop, which would help dig us out of this problem. We went for it and waited for information on progress.
Yesteday we heard that the plane was in the air and should be landing any time. That was cutting it close because we really needed the rails in the shop today to QA them and then finish assembly on the Pro machines that have been piling up in our shop. We remained hopeful because eventually one of these 50/50 situations would have to break our way for a change.
A few minutes ago we got an update on our shipment: the gound handling crew for the plane broke the pallet while loading the plane. The pallet had to be rebuilt so it missed the flight. It's now scheduled to land in Chicago and be released by the airline on Friday the 21st and should be delivered on Mon or Tues, depending on whether the shipping company is allowed to pick up the pallet over the weekend.
So, assuming we get the shipment on Tues, and assuming the rails are OK, then we should have Pro machines available on Thursday, May 27th.
In better news, the missing container in Long Beach has been found, cleared customs, and should arrive in Illinois on Friday the 28th. With either shipment, we should be able to keep Pro machines in stock for a while. With both shipments, we should be very confident in the stock levels but, based on everything it took to get here, we're going to keep our fingers crossed.
That's as much information as we have right now and we'll update this post when we know more.
We'll keep you up to date on new things in the world of Carbide 3D, and CNC in general.