Danilo’s Laurence Prince Speaks Out On The BBC About Shipping Nightmares

Laurence Prince, founder and chairman of Danilo Promotions shared the real life woes to business being caused by the shipping and haulage crises.

Above: Danilo’s founder and chairman Laurence Prince presenting an award at the recent Licensing Awards.
Above: Danilo’s founder and chairman Laurence Prince presenting an award at the recent Licensing Awards.

Introduced by as “a real life business person” by BBC Radio 5 host Adrian Chiles on his high profile discussion programme that aired a few days ago, Laurence made no bones about the devastation to business that the long delays and uncertainty of when goods shipped from the Far East will arrive in UK warehouses is causing, especially poignant for those involved in seasonal products.

Above: Radio presenter Adrian Chiles gave considerable airtime to his programme on October 6 to the shipping issue.
Above: Radio presenter Adrian Chiles gave considerable airtime to his programme on October 6 to the shipping issue.

Laurence highlighted Danilo’s plight with the example of the extensive musical advent calendar collection (based on licences which include Frozen, The Gruffalo, The Snowman and the Snowdog as well as one to mark the 40th anniversary of Only Fools and Horses) that the company had expected to arrive into retail in good time for the advent calendar season.

Above: Danilo’s licensed musical advents, including one featuring Frozen are on the high seas, somewhere between China and the UK.
Above: Danilo’s licensed musical advents, including one featuring Frozen are on the high seas, somewhere between China and the UK.

Unfortunately, while Danilo had built in some leeway timewise, the delivery that should have docked at the end of August is now not going to arrive until mid November at the earliest.

“We have orders from our retail customers and we keep having to go back to them with changing delivery dates – right now I worry these will make it in time,” said a frustrated Laurence, the whole situation made all the worse by the fact that there is also the UK haulage shortages to contend with, further delaying the stock arriving into warehouses before being sent out to stores.

Above: Danilo’s Only Fools and Horses’ musical advent to mark the programme’s 40th anniversary.
Above: Danilo’s Only Fools and Horses’ musical advent to mark the programme’s 40th anniversary.

Responding to Adrian’s point that as advent calendars, if they don’t arrive in time for this year, could be sold in 2022, Laurence highlighted the large cost this would bring to bear on the company’s cashflow.

“As these advents include [micro]chips they have to been made in the Far East, and we have already paid for this stock,” explained Laurence, stressing that in all the 45 years of Danilo he has never known a situation like this, how it is bad enough for the cost of a container to have skyrocketed from $3,000 to $18,000, but to not know for certainty when the finished goods will arrive in your warehouse adds insult to injury.

Top: The shipping crisis is causing havoc to companies and retailers, Danilo included.

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