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BSSB modifies delivery as shipping crisis worsens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Baptist Sunday School Board has made delivery of Fall Quarter literature its major concern and is continuing to adjust shipping methods in an effort to provide dated literature to churches by the first of September in spite of a worsening U.S. shipping crisis.
By Aug. 15, restrictions and backlogs by carriers overloaded as a result of the United Parcel Service strike had required a week of daily evaluations and changes in shipping options at the BSSB, based in Nashville, Tenn.
President James T. Draper Jr. said approximately 13,300 packages of dated literature were in the board’s order fulfillment system on Aug. 13 and will leave the board by freight, U.S. Postal Service and air carrier no later than Monday, Aug. 18. An estimated additional $155,000 will be spent to provide materials that were ordered by the Aug. 6 cutoff date for September-October-November quarterlies. No additional charge will be made to church customers whose orders were at the board on Aug. 6.
The decision came the week after the board announced it would spend an unprecedented $500,000 to provide the remaining 30 percent of Fall Quarter orders that had been placed by the deadline. On Aug. 8 BSSB employees from across the organization spent the day unloading UPS trailers to re-sort and re-label orders for other carriers.
Orders for October monthly publications were to be processed and stored for shipment until an early September evaluation of shipping options.
Meanwhile, undated orders of more than 100 pounds will be shipped by freight, and packages of undated materials weighing less than 100 pounds will be sent to U.S. Postal Service regional centers for delivery, along with dated orders placed after Aug. 8. No guaranteed delivery dates have been provided the BSSB by carriers.
People placing last-minute orders for dated materials will be offered the option of USPS delivery or special shipping options at an additional minimum charge of $40. Delivery schedules for either options, however, cannot be guaranteed.
Churches that placed orders after Aug. 6 and that are within driving distance of Nashville are encouraged to have a member pick up materials in Nashville with no pick-up charge. Three work days should be allowed for processing. Confirmation that the order is ready to be picked up may be made at (615) 251-5959.
People who need undated materials are encouraged to go to the nearest Baptist Book Store or Lifeway Christian Store.
Draper said BSSB employees have explored all options and are continuing to monitor the rapid changes “to provide churches what they need in the best way available. While we regret the circumstances, we are doing our best to meet the ministry needs of churches and individuals in a very difficult shipping environment.”

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  • Charles Willis