As I'm sure you've noticed, over the last few days we've been very quiet. It looks like the time has come to share the bad news.
On Friday our team found out that our vehicle was in Houston, but it was stuck in customs. We got in touch with the University Customs department and our broker to get the issue resolved. We had already had a couple hiccups during the shipping so this didn't seem major. Our customs department was hopeful that the issue would be quickly resolved.
As the day wore on the news seemed to get worse. The issue progressed from filling out the wrong paperwork to learning required paperwork was not filled out.
As the end of the day approached, our hopes quickly diminished. With US Customs closing at 4:30 our chances were looking slim.
Just before customs closed we heard the news. "Package rejected entry to the United States based on paperwork".
It turns out that our broker 'Affiliated' did not have experience shipping student project vehicles and filled out the wrong paperwork to get us through customs. Unfortunately the last minute scramble with customs did not end up working.
This is a very difficult time for the team and it definitely is hard to miss out on the race due to a paperwork issue that could have been foreseen.
But we've learned a lot from this weekend, seen a lot of new ideas for our car, and got the next generation of the team to get excited for the next year.
As we've dealt with this issue throughout this weekend Shell has been incredibly helpful. We'd like to thank them for all they have done. They've helped where they can with customs. And as all our sleeping stuff was in the crate with the car, Shell Canada graciously offered to get a couple hotel rooms for the team. It is really incredible that they went that extra mile to help us out and we really appreciated it.
We'll keep you posted as things continue to develop. The way it's looking now we will hopefully see the crate back home in a couple weeks.