Over the past month, Levitt-Safety’s national team has been working tirelessly to bring much-needed supplies to Canadian healthcare, long-term care, government organizations and essential businesses to keep workers safe.
We have greatly pivoted our business since provinces began shutting down in mid-March and we are learning on the move.
As Heidi Levitt, our co-CEO, described in a recent memo to customers purchasing products through our Emergency Supply Sourcing page, “this last month has been the most challenging roller-coaster ride for me personally and for our national team.”
Heidi went on to write “We have a brilliant sourcing team working during the day in Canada, and until about 11 o’clock at night with China. The updates they get one night seem to change by the next night as China continues to change the export rules. Then manufacturers, logistics providers, and airlines have to scramble to accommodate these new changes.”
As the news hit that aircraft sent to China to bring critical supplies back to Canada returned empty, Levitt-Safety staff was experiencing the chaos that is occurring from this global emergency firsthand.
“Shipments disappearing or being ‘taken’ out from right under the supplier’s nose,” Heidi wrote. “There have been long lines of tractor-trailers in Shanghai waiting to drop their loads in bonded warehouses, huge piles of stock in those warehouses waiting to get on aircraft, and inspection after inspection.”
This leads to massive delays and aggressive competition for aircraft. Shanghai International Airport, the major aviation hub in East Asia, is overwhelmed. Two of our shipments were turned around and trucked to Beijing (1,100km away) to be inspected and go through customs there. In the end, we decided it was faster to separate this shipment and send it out of Hong Kong, via San Francisco than waiting for Shanghai to get to them out.
These are unprecedented times.
But through all of this, the leadership team at Levitt-Safety has been diligent and inventive with problem-solving. We have worked closely with Air Canada to hire aircraft that can meet the demands of our customers and mitigate further delays.
“We have quality materials coming in, we have the right logistics teams on the ground in both Canada and China working on this,” Heidi wrote in the memo. “We have a flight confirmation for Sunday, April 26th on a repurposed 777 from Air Canada on which we will be bringing in a huge shipment of masks and other PPE.”
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Here’s just one way we’re unloading our transformed 777s! From reconfiguring our cabins, to using Passenger Transfer Vehicles to unload goods, today’s environment calls for extraordinary ingenuity. We’re proud of our teams who continue to step up to every challenge, doing everything they can to innovate and adapt! . . Voici une des façons de décharger nos appareils 777 convertis! La situation actuelle exige une grande ingéniosité, comme reconfigurer nos cabines et utiliser des véhicules transbordeurs de passagers pour débarquer des cargaisons. Nous sommes fiers de nos équipes qui continuent à surmonter tous les défis en innovant et en s’adaptant!
This is in addition to an airplane we secured through Air Canada on Sunday, April 19th which brought 1.2 million masks as part of our first COVID-19 customer order from Bruce Power, who made a massive donation to healthcare organizations across Ontario.
Read the full story in Bruce Power’s press release.
Once our next shipment arrives this Sunday, we will spend the better part of next week receiving the shipment in our Oakville distribution centre and turning the product around on a first orders in, first orders out basis (FIFO).
In order to secure our position, Levitt-Safety has large amounts of space blocked on flights in the first and second weeks of May.
All of this is to say that we want to thank our current and new customers for putting your trust in Levitt-Safety. We take our position very seriously in getting critical PPE to your employees and your loved ones.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new world of supply sourcing and work diligently to keep your team, and ours, safe.
Need emergency supplies?
Visit our Emergency Supply Sourcing page for details