Czech bike company Bike Fun International is reeling after being hit by a dramatic and expensive highway robbery. All in, $10 million worth of Shimano OEM finishing kit was stolen while in transit to the assembly facility.
In a scene straight out of a Hollywood heist, the trucker was gassed and put to sleep when he pulled over in a rest stop in Germany. The truck was emptied of its valuable contents, then the criminals covered any evidence in the cargo area by spraying a fire extinguisher.
BFI says the heist, which took place on the night of January 21, was likely planned in advance, reports Cycling Industry News. It suggests the truck was likely followed from where it was loaded until the driver pulled over for his break.
BFI supply chain director Petr Krkoska the theft of the high-end bike and e-bike parts will only add to industry delays.
“The situation for bicycle producers worldwide is really difficult. On the one side we are dealing with huge demand, but on the other side there is an even bigger shortage of components, caused by many factors. From the consignment loaded mostly with expensive e-bike and bike parts only nine boxes of low-end components were left in the truck. This will delay production of some models by almost a year, as there is no alternative on the market for many of the parts from this shipment. We are a strong and stable company, so this is just another obstacle out of many we are facing last years, but would this happen to smaller manufacturers, it would be liquidating for them.
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“We really haven’t seen this situation before. Even Shimano has not faced with a targeted robbery of a shipment on a similar scale. We hope that due to the shortage of parts, these cases will not be repeated, because despite all the measures we have set up, no insurance cover can compensate us for the loss and especially the reputation for late delivery. We decided to communicate this matter to warn other producers, because it could happen to them also,” he added.
This isn’t the first high-profile disruption to already-strained bike industry supply chains. It adds to delays caused by, most famously, the Ever Given’s blockage of the Suez Canal in March 2021, and numerous factory shut downs due to COVID-19.
Update: An earlier version of this story stated $10,000 worth of good were stolen. The actual value is estimated at $10 million, enough to build approximately 10,000 bikes.