It’s true, we really did go through the border carrying a Pandemic. Both borders.
Today was a murderously long day doing transportation for games and other forms of work. As most of you know, we have our major distributors in the US (especially since DoW went with Alliance. Don’t even ask us how expensive it is to buy DoW from a secondary distributor in Canada). So that means we have to figure out ways to get it across the border – either having them ship up directly (again, expensive especially since Alliance uses UPS!) or picking it up ourselves.
So down we go today at 8am in the morning. Now, we can’t use the Peace Arch crossing but have to use the commercial Pacific Border Crossing as we are going down as a business. It’s highly amusing to do a pick-up in a tiny little van when you are in line with humongous 18 wheel trucks.
Note for those of you who have never done a commercial crossing – get up early or be willing to wait. And try not to go at noon – the shift changes then so you’ll end up waiting even longer. And you might get x-rayed (well, your vehicle). Driving to the border takes about 45 minutes generally. Getting across the border ranges from an hour to two hours as they only have 2 booths open at any one time. I am so voting for whichever politician is up for pushing for more booths at the border! The amount of wasted gas/fuel/time is amazing.
Once across the border this time, we drop by our mailing services that do all our receiving for us in Blaine and bring it across the border. Generally, the entire time we are in the US is about 5 – 7 minutes.
This time, our boxes from Alliance hadn’t arrived. At this time, it’s about 10am. And thinking we had to wait till 3pm (at worst) for it to arrive, we decided to call it a day and head up to Vancouver.
Then across the border again, doing Canadian customs and declarations. Generally, this goes quite well and we can be done in 15 to 30 minutes easily. For today, just as I’m starting up the paperwork, we receive a call from the mailing service. Our games have arrived!
Yeah, I know – literally a minute or two earlier, we would have been able to turn around and just deal with the border once. A 30 minute wait later, we’re done with Canadian customs for our major shipments.
Sadly, since we are past the US border, we have to go through it again. This time, it takes us another 30 minutes to get across the border with some quick explanations to the nice border agents. And no sarcasm here – the US border guards were actually pretty nice about this and just waved us through once they checked us out.
Off we go down to Blaine and another 7 minutes later- and it’s now nearly noon so we grab some fast food on the way to Canadian customs where there is a huge line-up. An hour later, we’re told to report to the back – our weird trips (or maybe it’s just the Pandemic!) has them doing a more thorough check of our contents and the vehicle. Cue more waiting.
It’s finally 1.50pm before we are out of Canadian Customs, rushing up to our warehouse at Delta BC so that we can get the games in. We aren’t going to be doing much shipping today! And by the time we drop the car off after unloading/etc. it was 3pm. After having what we had thought would be the fastest day of logistics yet this Christmas season.