On-time, reliable deliveries are vital for businesses that have had to switch gears and operate almost entirely online. But a failed trans-Pacific shipment may spell doom for one Brooklyn small business.
Wray Serna has run her shop designing and selling silk garments out of her Greenpoint studio for about five years. Throughout the pandemic, she made adjustments to how she did business.
"We perceived, did organic ads. We shot clothes on myself and friends because we couldn't do photo shoots," said Serna.
She was counting on $80,000 worth of materials to be shipped from China and delivered on time for the holiday shopping season, hoping she could use some of the goods for a boost on Small Business Saturday this past weekend.
But after arriving in Queens, that shipment has gone completely missing. Such a blow during already difficult times may be too much to recovery from for Serna's business to continue.
"Having something lost or delayed is so detrimental to a business our size," Serna said. "I'm going to have to start the process of possibly closing down the business."
The vital shipment from Hong Kong was apparently lost in FedEx's delivery process, going off the radar after being at their facility in Queens. It was scheduled to arrive on Nov. 20 — a full week before one of the biggest small business shopping days of the year — but it never showed.
Serna said that they "got all sorts of different stories from (FedEx)" regarding where the package might have gone.
"Sometimes they said they dropped it off, other times they said it was at the station," Serna said. "And no one was taking it seriously."
A look at the tracking info on Monday afternoon showed that the delivery is still "in transit." In a statement, FedEx said, "We regret any inconvenience and we will work directly with the customer to understand what happened."
Serna said that even if the shipment is declared as lost by FedEx, insurance likely won't cover the entire loss. What she really would need is the delivery to show up, better late than never.