Thousands of books from local children’s publisher lost among Zim Kingston cargo

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A local children’s book publisher is anxiously awaiting to find out the fate of thousands of books that were onboard the cargo of the MV Zim Kingston — a vessel that lost 109 shipping containers at sea before experiencing an onboard fire off the coast of Victoria.

Orca Book Publishers says that 15,000 books were on board the vessel and the publisher is waiting to learn if the books were destroyed in the fire, lost in the water or are still on the vessel.

Orca Book Publishers says that the shipment included a new stock of several bestselling nonfiction titles for children and was being transported from the printer in China.

According to Orca, this will mean, at the very least, a delay for these books, which were ordered to fill pre-holiday needs for bookstores and schools.

“Earlier this year, we made the decision to transition the bulk of our printing away from printing overseas in favour of printing in Canada,” says publisher Andrew Wooldridge. “There are many reasons for this shift; politically, socially, environmentally we are endeavouring to match our printing decisions more closely to our overall mandate and goals. These books were amongst the last planned printings in China and Korea. Combined with all the other supply chain issues, this was a surprising development that certainly caught us off-guard.”

Orca says the complications that are being caused by the trials of the MV Zim Kingston come at a time when the global supply chain is already facing severe delays, while Canadian publishers’ access to printers and paper continues to be significantly impacted by the pandemic.

In a statement released on Thursday, Orca says the shipment was comprised of print runs of five different children’s books, four of which were written by Victoria-based authors.


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