Orca faces the loss of thousands of books in Victoria cargo ship fire

Orca faces the loss of thousands of books in Victoria cargo ship fire

VICTORIA, B.C.—Orca Book Publishers has learned that an anxiously awaited shipment of books was among the cargo onboard the MV Zim Kingston which caught on fire recently off the coast of Victoria. The books, which were new stock of several bestselling nonfiction titles for children, were being shipped from the printer in China. 

Orca is waiting to learn the status of the 15,000 books onboard the vessel. It is unknown if the books were destroyed in the fire, have been lost in the waters, or are still on the vessel and may be offloaded in the future. At the very least, this will mean a delay for these books, which were needed to fill pre-holiday orders for bookstores and schools. This comes at a time when the global supply chain is already facing severe delays and is yet one more challenge for Canadian publishers whose access to printers and paper has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“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.”

The shipment comprised print runs of five different children’s books, four of which were written by Victoria-based authors.

Orca extends their thanks to the crew and firefighters who bravely worked to put out the fires.

For further information, media requests and interviews, please contact Leslie Bootle by email at leslie@orcabook.com or call 1-800-210-5277.

About Orca Book Publishers:

Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres. With 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 95 new titles each year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market. 

Orca Book Publishers is based in Victoria, BC, on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and WSÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples. We are grateful for the natural beauty and resources we have access to and aim through the books we publish to play a part in raising readers and citizens who will have a great understanding of our history and this land.

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