A significant number of you, our valued Stone Distributors customers, have asked about why it seems to be taking significantly longer to get a large variety of the stones we carry – particularly from Tennessee – in stock this year. We appreciate your frustration (and the continued patience many of you have had while you have waited for us to receive your back ordered product) as we have been feeling it as well.
We also realize that while this issue of longer back order shipment times has been going on for much longer this year than in any recent year, there are legitimate reasons for these continued delays that have been out of everyone’s control. The bottom line is that every once in a while, you have a convergence of events that taken individually we and our vendors could have handled relatively quickly, but in combination have knocked our supply chain offline and continue to make it hard to get it working even close to normally again.
The 3 Reasons for the ongoing and continuing disruption to our stone supply chain
What are these events that I am referring to? There are 3 in particular. The first one is obvious to all of us, as it has affected our entire way of life here in the United States and pretty much everywhere else around the world in ways not seen since World War II – Covid-19/the Coronavirus.
The initial lockdowns here and in Tennessee caused the quarries there to shut down for as long as five to six weeks during prime digging season. That was the first big disruption to our stone supply chain.
The 2nd of the 3 events began to have its negative effects even slightly earlier than Covid-19. The weather. Remember all that rain we had here in northern Georgia in February and March? Guess what – they had at least that much rain if not more up in the areas of the quarries through that time. How much rain did they get? The following picture is worth a thousand words.
It shows pools of water that are still being actively pumped as of this week at the quarry our owner Mike visited earlier this week. And this is not from any significant rain within the last month. This illustrates just how inundated they were with rain this spring.
Significant rain in the amounts they had earlier this year caused the quarries to have to shut down for significant stretches of time. Why? Because if they can’t pump out the water faster than it is accumulating then the excavation machines don’t work. The quarries have had to shut down their excavation machines more than double the amount due to rain in a normal year.
The 3rd event that has exacerbated the shutdowns and delays even further into this summer has been the lack of labor normally available to be hired during the normal busy season by the quarries – March/April through the fall.
Work at the quarries is seasonal, meaning there is a significant portion of their workforce that works only during the busy season. Part of the fallout from Covid-19 “Stay at Home” orders and other restrictions is that this normal temporary workforce is not available to the quarries this year. Therefore, even has they have been trying to ramp back up to “normal in-season capacity” most of them have been unable to do so.
Taken together, the convergence of these 3 events has not only knocked the supply chain offline for significant portions of time over the last 4 to 5 months, they continue to hamper the efforts to get the supply chain up and running at full capacity. Rest assured that everyone involved – from the quarries to the shipment companies to us are doing everything we can to get stone from there, to here, to their final destinations.
We will continue to do everything we can to get you your product so you can build your beautiful designs and projects using our high-quality stones and landscaping materials supplied by the hard working excavators at the quarries and brought to us by the dedicated truck drivers from the shipping companies.
In fact, we were heartened by this shipment of two full tractor-trailer flatbeds that arrived at our lot very early Thursday morning – just in time for all of you wanting to get your projects started and/or completed this weekend!
Come on into Stone Distributors today knowing that if we don’t have a particular variety of stone you are looking for in stock, we will contact you the day it gets here and get it where you need it as soon as is humanly possible! We do have a large variety of of Flagstone, Fieldstone, Garden Boulders, Cobblestones, River Rock, Ruble Strips and other landscaping materials in stock and available for you right here on our 5-acre lot.
Contact us at (678) 354-0566 or by visiting us online at https://www.stonedist.com or on our Stone Distributors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stonedist/. We continue to be open NORMAL HOURS at this time: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed on Sundays.