Why isn't my VEX order arriving - 1 Feb 2023 edition

Hey, so I’m seeing bashing of VEX for parts shipments in other places.

It’s been below freezing in Greenville since the 29th (Sunday AM)

It’s been snowing, sleeting and freezing rain for the last 12 hours.

And while Texas is known for BBQ and Fried Pies, driving on sheets of ice isn’t their forte. And for those of you that don’t live in locations where sheets of ice is on highways, none of us can drive on them ( Delmarva here) . People try and that’s why autobody repair in the NE is a booming business. At least in TX people go “Nope, that’s some serious stupid, staying home.”

So it appears that the VEX people, being smarter than the average bear, stayed home. And based on my three ground carriers messages, who also stayed home, this means shipments will be a mess.

So before you also put fingers to keyboards to complain, put fingers to CAD programs to design around your issues.

According to Mary, my FedEx champion for my D$yJ$b, expecting things from the southern states before the 7th is wishful thinking.

I’m getting regular pushes / approvals for the forum, so happy they are at home and safe with their families.

Take this as a possible lesson: “Your supply chain is broken, what is your Plan B?” As a computer guy with delivery shipments, the worry about having hardware show up was constant, but having a plan paid off.

Fun fact, I worked for a company that had one plane every day that flew overhead. The lead operations guy had an application that fed his 3270 screen on distance away and pinged when the plane was past the building. I used to schedule meetings with him, you could see his eyes dart as the plane came closer.

Anyway, weather is an issue, don’t sweat it and don’t swear at people that don’t have control over it.


Haha, it’s sunny and high 60’s here in Los Angeles.
Many Some employees are in the Greenville office, but Fedex and UPS are not delivering or doing pickups.


On the topic of driving on ice, that is a more complicated subject than many people are aware.

I was born and raised in Alaska (including learning to drive) and now live in Ohio.

In Alaska, the side streets are paved with hard-packed snow for several months every winter and we drive on them just fine. A couple interesting facts:

Ice is not just ice.

  • Hard-packed snow and ice below about 20 F can actually have pretty good traction with the right tires.

  • The worst kind of ice is right around 30-35 F, especially with standing water on it. Traction in those conditions is more imaginary than real. Guess what type of ice is likely on the ground in Texas right now…

How you take care of the road matters.

  • Snow or ice on the roads is far less of a problem if the road is treated properly. In the Midwest, that means massive quantities of salt are used on the roads (before, during and after snowfalls). This is why cars from the Midwest rust so quickly…

  • Alaska actually does not use salt. Salt effectively stops working below about 15-20 F. Alaska in the winter is below that temperature quite often. Alaska uses a lot of sand on the roads. It doesn’t melt the snow, but it sure makes it less slick.

Tires matter.

  • Snow tires have improved tremendously in the past couple of decades. Even all-season tires are much better in snow than they used to be. Unfortunately, the same things that make a tire good in the winter (softer compound, more angled cuts) make a tire worse in hot weather and in deep rain. Considering what they encounter most of the time, Texans are probably buying tires that are not ideal for winter.

  • Way back in the day, the best snow tires had steel studs (little metal spikes that dig into the ice). They are against the law now (they really mess up the roads). They then went to aluminum studs, but those wore down really quickly. The new snow tires actually get better performance even without studs.

Practice matters.

  • Driving well on snow and ice requires a different set of reflexes than driving well in heavy city traffic. On slick roads, you need to drive more smoothly, leave longer following distances and start braking sooner. This is almost exactly opposite what a driver in heavy city traffic will generally do. Again, they practice for what they normally encounter.

  • Knowing what to do when the tires start sliding only comes from sliding a vehicle around. There is really no way to safely practice this on good roads. On snow or ice you can have a vehicle sliding all over the road at 15-20 MPH. Sliding the tires on dry pavement is really not something you want to encounter.

Under the circumstances, I think driving as little as possible makes a lot of sense under the conditions they are facing.

Alaskans may drive very happily on hard packed snow at 65 MPH, but they also don’t cope very well with 100 F heat. Texans deal with the opposite set of challenges.


ChatGPT response to your query…

If your VEX order is not arriving, please contact our customer support team at support@vexrobotics.com. They will be able to provide you with details about your order, such as estimated delivery times and any potential shipping delays.

When contacting our customer support team, please provide them with your order number, if possible. This will help them locate your order quickly and provide you with the most accurate information. Additionally, please provide them with any contact information you have provided while placing the order, such as your email address, phone number, and shipping address. This will ensure that they can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your order.


Obligatory alternative from the past:
“Ships in 8 weeks”

// attempt at humor


Is it true that it has been resolved? :stuck_out_tongue:


For items in stock, my experience it has been. The challenge for items in transit across the pacific for all goods, it can be difficult to predict for all as the ports were backed up (those images of ships waiting outside off shore still in my mind), those issues have cleared up so estimating when parts will come in is easier. It comes with a price though, increased shipping costs which get passed down to consumers at some point.

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Won’t speak to VEX here, but shipping is still shaking out from the Covid years. Transit times from China to the US are now shorter, wait times in harbor are down to days vs weeks. I don’t know the transit path from VEX China to Singapore, but part of the issue is that it costs about the same to ship a container with one item vs full (weight is still an issue, but electronics / robot parts are pretty light). (Which oddly I learned the hard way)

TBH my friends at DHL, UPS, FedEx, Dominion Trucking and Hunt are cashing in on the “Economy is back, people want stuff, we carry it, so add in some profit” I’ve had some What the Frog? moments were things last October shipped for $3200 and now its over $7K.

But they are seeing declines in movements. I get out of the house, so less packages to the Robot Lab door. Stores have cut inventory items, less stuff to the stores. Mfg have cut product lines (see Campbell Soup) as an example, less stuff to move. Companies are now cutting mid staff (Fed Ex to fire about 5K people) So we are seeing shake out in costs, but that’s not helping the timeline.

In 2022 there were 4 Amazon Contractors that I saw on a regular basis, since Christmas, it’s just the regular driver.

But back to the top post, temps in Greenville are still at freezing, but temps on Friday will ROCKET to mid 40’s. FedEx and UPS are still alerting me about delays east of VEX as the storm moves across.

Foster, I thought you are about to nudge us toward the idea that in 21st century, when cataclysmic weather patters will only get worse, it makes sense to distribute the parts electronically in the form of .step files and have customers print them at home. :wink:


Dude, the meta printer that can make fruit is not working. I have 4 elementary roboteers doing all nighteters to fix it, you know how Kassy can be under pressure.

I shared the veggie printer and you were right, the fritters were awesome. Your Auntie with the batter quick fry, so delicious. With the impossible meat extrusion we are on the cusp. Stay cool, don’t want to mess this up. Being able to email food will be the break item. Just another few days before public release. Stay cool, stay calm, stay out of the public.

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