Replenishment! What about the cigar Replenishment in Switzerland? The Swiss importer of cigars and accessories The Royal Cigar Company AG proactively informed its distribution partners about the cigar production situation by e-mail recently. Rymondo Bernasconi, owner of the company, recently returned from his trip to the Dominican Republic. Raymondo Bernasconi is also the brand owner of the cigar brand Gilbert de Montsalvat.
Cigars.Zone Social Network would like to thank you for the valuable information and the great work that the team at The Royal Cigar Company AG for our cigar enjoyment. Here is the report from Rymondo Bernasconi:
I have recently returned from the Dominican Republic and would like to update you on the current COVID situation and therefore also on the current production situation in the various countries.
Replenishment Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic implements the local restrictions relatively strictly. On Saturdays and Sundays, people must be home by 12:00 (noon) and are not allowed to leave the house until 05:00 in the morning. On weekdays, the stores close at 17:00 and people have to be back home by 20:00. In order to comply with this, employees leave the factories at 15:00.
In addition, hygiene measures are strictly implemented and adhered to in the factories (disinfection stations, face masks, partitions, etc.). Unfortunately, these restrictive measures have slowed down the production process. In addition, the factories currently lack around 50% of the scooters (the reasons for this are somewhat obscure - there is talk of direct payments from the government to the scooters as well as homeworking on their own initiative). The fact is that the factories can generally achieve a maximum of 50% of the benefits.
Nicaragua's handling of COVID restrictions is relatively "lax" compared to other countries. There are guidelines that are seen more as recommendations and it is largely up to the factories to implement them. This means that production is not the main problem, but logistics is a much bigger problem.
Honduras is much stricter than Nicaragua in implementing the COVID measures. Workers must change their shoes before entering the factory, undergo a disinfection procedure and comply with social distancing rules everywhere and at all times. Due to the COVID restrictions and the space available in the factories, current production is running below demand and we are constantly experiencing delays in our orders.
In the past, most goods (in our case we are referring to cigars) were shipped by air freight. These shipments were handled almost exclusively via scheduled and tourist flights. Due to travel restrictions (the main routes are USA, Panama & Costa Rica) there are hardly any flights to and from Nicaragua. This has led to an enormous shortage of freight capacity and an extreme increase in freight costs (4 to 6 times higher freight costs).
Due to a small cigar boom during the lockdown phases, demand for cigars of all origins has risen worldwide. The reduction in production capacity and demand for qualified cigar rollers has made production costs significantly more expensive. Logistics costs have also risen considerably. We are currently grateful for every delivery we can receive.
We, The Royal Cigar Company AGWe reacted quickly right at the start of the COVID measures. We immediately called off current orders and placed new ones (each up to a projected annual requirement). This enabled us to ship the goods by container. In this way, we were able to keep the additional costs low and maintain the availability of the products we import at the absolute best possible stock level.
We will continue to do our best to be a good and reliable partner for you in the coming months.
Thank you for your trust and support.
Raymondo Bernasconi and the team at The Royal Cigar Company AG.