Over the past year and a half, lead times on barrels have increased at an astounding rate, from an average 8-10 weeks in 2016 to a high of 36 weeks toward the end of 2017. What happened, and what can you expect now?

Demand Surges

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In late 2016, our primary supplier began to move their operations from Virginia to a new state-of-the-art facility in Austintown, Ohio. Ordinarily, this would have had very little customer impact. However (big sigh), as they began their move, demand for barrels more than doubled inside of six months.

This surge in demand overloaded domestic production capacity across the board. This also included our secondary barrel supplier, who had until then been able to deliver barrels in 8 weeks. As our primary supplier struggled through their unfortunately-timed move, lead times from our other supplier moved out to 14 weeks as they also became overwhelmed with the increased demand.

Returning to Normal

The good news is, we appear to be over the hump. Our primary supplier’s small barrel line now has greater capacity than it ever did, and their average lead time has decreased to 20 weeks on most sizes. Our leadership team is fresh off a visit to the new production facility and a day of meetings with supplier executives, and we feel confident this trend will continue. We hope to see things normalize over the next few quarters. We will continue to keep you updated as we work to manage these supply issues.

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In the meantime, we have several alternatives we can employ when lead time is critical. We have increased our capacity to process re-sleeve orders, and we can also expedite new barrels with tool steel liners in materials like CPM 10V and D-2 in approximately 6 weeks.

If you have an issue with a barrel, contact us or call us at (248) 585-8120 to discuss your options.