It’s been an exciting past five years working to bring Rad Power Bikes to Europe. With any big initiative, there can be hurdles, and for us, we faced a few obstacles around supply chain and logistics. Due to these challenges, Rad customers experienced longer wait times than anticipated and we want to apologize sincerely for these delays. We so appreciate our customers’ patience and for not giving up on us, and we can’t wait to bring more Rad into all your lives!
In the spirit of transparency, here are some insights on the complications we faced:
Fighting a global pandemic for two years resulted in many business challenges – one being supply chain issues.
As we were told to social distance and refrain from indoor mingling, outdoor activities skyrocketed in popularity. Walking, hiking, and cycling continue to trend even two years later. As you might expect, demand for Rad Power Bikes throughout the pandemic far exceeded even our highest expectations as we strived to keep up.
Our factories couldn’t produce fast enough with our production lines impacted due to COVID closures, employee illnesses, and delays in the deliveries of parts due to suppliers experiencing COVID challenges themselves.
Unfortunately, the combination of supply shortages and logistics issues like the closure of ports in Asia, lack of workforce in factories and harbors and limited containers in the aftermath led to a multi-month drought of inventory. We are still facing challenges – with the war in Ukraine and the rising price of fuel, there are additional impacts on delays and prices of freight.
At Rad Power Bikes, we pride ourselves on our rigorous and innovative design process. In fact, our industrial designers thoroughly test all components of our bicycles. So, when certain parts were out of stock, identifying suitable alternatives required significant testing to meet our high standards – causing further delays.
We Are Moving:
While these delays have been discouraging, we are more motivated than ever to make this right and ensure that Europeans can enjoy our Rad ebikes.
We’ve made some changes to consolidate our global warehousing processes to streamline shipping and deliveries.
In 2021, most of our stock for Europe arrived at the Port of Rotterdam, where it passed through customs and moved into our European warehouse. Now, we will be shipping all mainland Europe orders from our new Amsterdam warehouse. The consolidation process was a complex, 8-week endeavor in late 2021, and we left no stone unturned to serve our customers better. From this new facility we can dispatch more orders, quicker than ever before.
UK - A Special Case:
While the pandemic challenges affected all our global markets, the UK was especially impacted due to the ramifications of Brexit. To avoid additional costs (such as Anti Dumping Duties) we set up a local warehouse in Manchester. But even being prepared for shipping under the new Brexit requirements, the lack of containers from our manufacturing facilities in Asia created additional delays and complications. This resulted in a limited amount of inventory for us to ship directly to the UK in 2021.
While we were looking for long-term solutions, we temporarily completed orders from the Netherlands. Even after shifting to dispatching locally, we faced additional hurdles with UPS suffering from a countrywide shortage of truck drivers in the UK and our warehouse being short staffed due to illness. These unforeseen challenges meant we sometimes missed our delivery promises.
As far as estimated delivery times, European deliveries were slated to arrive within 15 working days, while UK orders were supposed to be completed within 8 weeks. While we were not able to deliver on this previously, we’re working on getting back on track.
2022 So Far:
In 2022, our priority is to improve our processes and create a better experience for our customers. We are aware of the hurdles we face and will continue to be as agile as possible so that we can troubleshoot issues quicker and communicate more effectively with our customers.
One recent example of this is when our warehouse partner experienced a prolonged IT outage. We immediately switched over to a manual process to keep dispatching orders to our customers. By the end of April, we were back online and dispatch sped up again for all regions.
Tackling the Issues Head On:
Delivering an exceptional customer experience is our number one priority, and we will continue to find swift resolutions to the issues that we face.
To work against the First Mile Delivery challenges in 2021, Rad has chartered container vessels and expanded our freight services with more container shipping companies to bring bikes directly to Manchester and Amsterdam when production wrapped up in Asia.
On the Last Mile Delivery issues, we continue to foster strong relationships with our warehouses in Amsterdam and Manchester to resolve process hiccups. We have also completed our warehouse move to Amsterdam, which will create more ease in our dispatch process.
Additionally, we have begun shipping bikes directly to Manchester from our manufacturing facilities. Soon, your most favorite Rad ebike will come directly to the UK, no more stopovers in Amsterdam. This will eliminate the need for trucks to shuttle items between the two locations.
July 2022 Update:
With this blog post, we wish to say thank you for your support, patience, and understanding. It is our top priority to deliver our beloved Rad Power Bikes to fans across Europe. We genuinely appreciate and want to thank you for sticking with us through these turbulent months.
Our team is relieved, excited, and optimistic as we move forward with new and more efficient processes across European markets. Today most of our bike models are in stock in Europe and the UK, and we continually fill our warehouses with accessories and spare parts for our customers.
This month, we launched radpowerbikes.co.uk to serve our customers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Products, prices, and inventory levels are specific to customers in those countries, dispatching from our warehouse in Manchester. With this new addition to our European operations, we will shorten our delivery timeframes for in-stock products from eight weeks to 15 working days for all European countries.
Total Wait Time:
Please note we can only give such service level estimates for items that are in stock and in the warehouse. When you place an order with us for an item that is on pre- or back-order, always check the estimated in-stock date before you order. This is shown on the product page and during your check out. This time estimate will help you understand the overall wait times, which are in addition to the dispatch and delivery times.
Total wait time = time to item arriving in-stock + time to fulfillment.
While the global supply chain issues are far from over, we will continue to innovate and improve as new challenges arise. We hope you will come along for the ride with us in 2022 and beyond.