Why Are Models Available in Other Parts of the World Before the UK?
As an avid collector or enthusiast, you may have noticed that diecast and resin models often appear for sale in other parts of the world, particularly in Far Eastern countries and mainland Europe, before they become available in the UK. This discrepancy can be attributed to a variety of logistical and procedural factors, which we will explore in detail.

The Logistics of Distribution

1. Shipping and Transit Times
Most diecast and resin models are manufactured in Far Eastern countries like China. Once production is complete, the models are packed and shipped to various parts of the world. The journey of a container ship from China to Europe typically takes several weeks. Upon arrival, these ships often dock at major European ports, such as Rotterdam, before the goods are distributed further. Rotterdam, being one of the largest ports in the world, serves as a key entry point for goods entering Europe.

From Rotterdam, models destined for mainland Europe are distributed quickly by road to European distributors and retailers, giving them a head start over their UK counterparts. In contrast, goods destined for the UK must go through additional stages of transport by across the English Channel, further delaying their arrival.

2. Customs and Import Procedures
The process doesn’t end once the goods reach the UK. Since Brexit, UK Customs procedures have become more complex and time-consuming. These new procedures not only increase the time required for goods to clear Customs but also add significant costs. The need to navigate these bureaucratic hurdles means that UK distributors often face delays that sellers in mainland Europe do not.

Economic Considerations

3. Fewer, Larger Shipments
Post-Brexit Customs regulations have made it less economical for UK distributors to receive frequent small shipments. Instead, to minimise costs and streamline operations, they now prefer fewer, larger shipments. This approach inevitably leads to longer wait times for new models, as distributors accumulate enough stock to justify a large shipment.

4. Sourcing from European Distributors
Many UK suppliers also source some models from mainland European distributors. This additional step in the supply chain adds further delays. Before the models can be sold in the UK, they must first be imported into Europe, distributed to European distributors, and then re-exported to the UK, each step adding time to the overall process.

Direct Sales by Manufacturers

5. Manufacturer Prioritisation
In addition to logistical issues, many manufacturers now sell directly through their own websites. These manufacturers often prioritise their own stock, ensuring that their direct customers receive the latest models before they are distributed to retail sellers. This practice means that even once models are produced, there is an intentional delay before they reach independent retailers.

Pre-Orders and Release Dates

6. No Set Worldwide Release Date
Another important factor to consider is that models do not have a set worldwide release date. Once a seller receives a shipment, the models become available for sale. This can result in significant variations in availability dates between different regions and sellers.


In summary, the reasons why models appear for sale in Far Eastern countries and mainland Europe before the UK are multifaceted. Shipping logistics, Customs procedures, economic considerations, and direct sales strategies all contribute to these delays. Buyers in the UK need to be aware of these factors when anticipating new releases. Understanding the complexities behind the distribution process can help manage expectations and provide insight into the global nature of the diecast and resin model market.

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