Ash Fallout Could Delay USB Flash Drive Deliveries

There’s a certain amount of deja vu about the events unfolding in Iceland at the moment. It was only a year ago that the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland and the subsequent ash cloud that drifted south closed airports across a significant part of Europe and brought travel and trade to a grinding halt. On Saturday the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland burst into life with its most powerful eruption in 100 years. The initial plume of smoke and ash from the eruption was sent 12 miles into the air and forecasters are now predicting that the ash cloud “might” reach parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland as early as tomorrow with the ash then drifting down across the rest of the UK later this week.

It’s too soon to say what the impact will be on UK airspace. Last year UK airspace was shut down completely as a precaution but this time airlines will make their own decisions about whether it is safe to fly. The National Airspace Crisis Management Executive is currently meeting every six hours to assess the situation and make recommendation accordingly.

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Icelandic air traffic control has already imposed a “no-fly zone” around the volcano the country's main airport is closed and all domestic flights are cancelled. Local geophysicist Pall Einarsson said the eruption was on a different scale to the one in Iceland last year. "It is not likely to be anything on the scale that was produced last year when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted," he said.

The ash particles from this eruption are larger than those from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption last year and as a result they fall to the ground more quickly. Hopefully this will mean less disruption to flights. If the UK airspace were closed, even for just a couple of days, this would have a disastrous effect on the delivery of time critical promotional USB flash drives. Pretty much all company branded and promotional USB flash drives are manufactured and assembled in China and flown into the UK with companies like UPS, DHL and TNT. Amazingly the normal lead-times to get these USB sticks produced and shipped into the UK is normally around 6-10 days but unplanned airspace closures can wreak havoc with this.

If you have got promotional USB flash drives that are due to be delivered during the next week now would be a good time to “cross your fingers” and hope things don’t et any worse. You might also want to look at contingency options just in case the worse does happen!

At USB2U we always hold lots of blank, unprinted USB flash drives in stock in the UK and we can get these printed and delivered within 48hrs – we can’t guarantee you a wide choice of colours or memory size options but we should be able to help with a solution if your USB memory sticks get caught up in any Volcano delays.

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