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D&D 5E D&D Books Delayed By The Shipocalypse

The global shipping crisis continues to affect the tabletop gaming industry. After the Rules Expansion Gift Set was pushed from December to January due to production delays, WotC has announced that Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will be delayed. Fizban is delayed a week, and Strixhaven is delayed 3 weeks.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Hopefully they do. But then again if some vessels cant get through there where are they going to be re-routed to? Sure that'll have its own set of complications if they have to take another route or be forced to ship by land or air.

To be clear, I doubt they actually will change the rules. They want to maximize the amount of trade going through the canal, despite any risks.
 

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To be clear, I doubt they actually will change the rules. They want to maximize the amount of trade going through the canal, despite any risks.
I agree. I think most likely with many precautions/changes/restrictions that have been put into place due to COVID, after the pandemic is over it'll be business as usual I'm afraid.
 

Well, considering the only chance I had at this rate to get Fizban's Treasury of Dragons and Curriculum of Chaos Alt covers, was to pre order both of them in one order: So I'm pretty much not getting either book until December 3rd or a bit later after that. So an extra bit of waiting is not gonna kill me.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Well, considering the only chance I had at this rate to get Fizban's Treasury of Dragons and Curriculum of Chaos Alt covers, was to pre order both of them in one order: So I'm pretty much not getting either book until December 3rd or a bit later after that. So an extra bit of waiting is not gonna kill me.
I was gonna need to wait for it to be on Amazon US to then import anyway.
 

Ravenbrook

Explorer
Are the D&D books still printed in China? It's a bad policy, I think. At least for the European market, they should print the books in an eastern member state. Inexpensive, but still good quality.
 

Omand

Adventurer
Are the D&D books still printed in China? It's a bad policy, I think. At least for the European market, they should print the books in an eastern member state. Inexpensive, but still good quality.
They were never printed in China. Wizards of the Coast books have always been printed in the USA. You can look back at the copyright pages for 3E and onwards to confirm this.

Other products (miniatures, for example) come from China, but all of the books are domestic productions.

Cheers :)
 

Ravenbrook

Explorer
They were never printed in China. Wizards of the Coast books have always been printed in the USA. You can look back at the copyright pages for 3E and onwards to confirm this.

Other products (miniatures, for example) come from China, but all of the books are domestic productions.

Cheers :)
Not quite. Xanathar's Guide to Everything was printed in China, for example.
 








Omand

Adventurer
Mine is printed in China. First printing November 2017.
Interesting.

To be pedantic, however, yours is not a first printing, it is a 6th printing. The first printing date is in all of the books. The row of numbers below the "First Printing November 2017" is the actual print run count.

The fact that 1 through 5 are deleted from the line indicates that your book came from the 6th print run.

For more information on print runs see:
Wikipedia - Print Key
Stop Counterfeit Textbooks - Identifying Print Run

So, it seems that at least for Xanathar's Wizards of the Coast ran print runs in both the USA and China for the North American market. Looks like the European market is supplied from Lithuania.

Cheers :)

Edited for spelling and I can't read pictures
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Interesting.

To be pedantic, however, yours is not a first printing, it is a 6th printing. The first printing date is in all of the books. The row of numbers below the "First Printing November 2017" is the actual print run count.

The fact that 1 through 5 are deleted from the line indicates that your book came from the 6th print run.

For more information on print runs see:
Wikipedia - Print Key
Stop Counterfeit Textbooks - Identifying Print Run

So, it seems that at least for Xanathar's Wizards of the Coast ran print runs in both the USA and China for the North American market. Looks like the European market is supplied from Lithuania.

Cheers :)

Edited for spelling and I can't read pictures
Good to know, thanks for pointing out that info about print runs. Looks like mine is also a sixth printing.
Today I learned!
 


Omand

Adventurer
My Xanathar's is a second printing and printed in the USA. So it appears that between the 5th and 6th printings is when a shift for at least one printing of the book was made to China.

Anyone else on the thread have a North American (English) printing that was printed in China that is not the 6th printing?

Would be interesting to see the scope of this, as everything else in my collection from WotC is printed in the USA going back to 3rd Edition (at least for the books I checked earlier today. I will admit, I did not do a full sweep of the entire collection).

Cheers :)

Edit - Cannot spell today.
 

Surprisingly, Corona is not actually the primary reason for the shipping crisis, though it's a big second factor.

The primary reason shipping is so messed up is due to that one ship plugging the Suez canal for so long.
Nah. That was just six days. It was a big thing, and there are certainly ripples from it, but things were effed up before that.

Deep down, the problem is that global trade is a really complex web with lots of moving (heh) parts, and there are lots of parts of that web or that feed into that web that have incredibly fine tolerances. Basically, for a long while global logistics ran like a fine-tuned machine, and the result was that buffers became a lot smaller. Factories don't keep lots of raw materials on hand, because they know there's a flow of them coming in, and storing things takes money. You don't have spare parts lying around, because you know you can get them really quickly when you need them. People in charge had taken principles of lean production and applied it all over the logistics and production chain, trimming out all the "fat". The problem with that is that "fat" are actually reserves for when things aren't going so well, and if you are already lean when things get bad, you don't have any cushion.

Then Covid hit, throwing a bunch of gravel into this finely tuned machinery. The most immediate effect is on the ports themselves, where many dockworkers got sick and in many cases died. Those who didn't are working with safety restrictions which makes things go slower. Customs take longer for similar reasons. And at the same time, people are trying to buy more things because they are sitting at home and are bored, and being at home instead of at the office makes them more likely to want to improve things around the house and things like that. These things then get compounded over many steps. The wood needed to make paper takes longer to reach the paper mill. This in turn delays the production of paper that's needed to print a book. A truck breaks down and needs a spare part that in turn needs things from five different sources, all of which have their own issues and their own delays, and now you have one less truck shipping things domestically, slowing things down even more.

This then gets exacerbated by a shortage of shipping containers. Basically, both America and Europe have quite a negative trade balance with China – we import a lot more than we export. Under normal circumstances, a lot of the containers on ships going back to China are empty. But because of effed up logistics, some portion don't make it back (I guess because the ships are in a hurry to get back and don't have time to fill up with empty containers). Over the course of almost two years now, those add up, to the point where the container shortage means the cost of shipping a container full of stuff from China to the USA has gone up by a factor of 10.

To some extent, various actors have taken measures to try to compensate for these failures, but now those measures are running out, and we customers start seeing the results. It's like in the Expanse episode Cascade, when Plex notes that plants in the air scrubbers aren't doing so well, investigates a little, and comes to the conclusion that the station is already dead, they just don't know it yet. By the time you can see the symptoms, enough things behind the scenes are already broken that it's impossible to fix.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Read @Staffan 's excellent post for why. A bit about "how bad":

Long Beach port in Los Angeles is one of the worst in the country. Dwell time to get a berth is close to two weeks. But there's only 50 anchor slots outside the port and that's not sufficient for waiting vessels, so the others must drift, only starting engines to reposition. Rail has stopped sending in empty containers, and is basically only allowing in to balance what is coming out. Some importers are giving up on Christmas and Valentine's Day stock and are ordering for Easter.
 

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