On February 6th, 2020 Apollo/Transco lacquer manufacturing facility located in Banning, California caught fire and is a total loss. More than 80 firefighters fought the dangerous chemical fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the blaze, except perhaps all the vinyl loving people out there...
Transco, up until the incident, was responsible for 80% of the world's supply of lacquers. Lacquers are a critical part of the manufacturing process, without these lacquers, there is no way to create the metal stampers required to press new vinyl.
Train Records, along with 80% of the vinyl manufacturers worldwide, have a limited supply of lacquers. We are currently evaluating how the market will adjust to this change but for the time being, we've made the difficult decision to limit our production of vinyl records.
In reaction to the worldwide shortage of lacquers, we can only accept minimum orders of 1000 records.
At the moment, there is only one lacquer producer left in the world, Japan-based MDC. MDC, which previously made up the remaining 20% of the world's lacquer supply, was already struggling to meet demand before the catastrophe. We reached out to them on Feb. 7th and were told they are not accepting new clients at the moment and will only be supplying lacquers to their existing customers.
In the wake of the fire, whether or not Apollo/Transco plans on rebuilding or whether California with its stringent environmental protection laws will even allow it, remains to be seen. Regardless, the equipment used to create the lacquers is very specialized and we estimate it would take over 12-18 months before a viable solution becomes available.
Immediately following the disaster Apollo published this to their website:
To all of our wonderful customers. It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and suffered catastrophic damage. The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time. Thank you for all of the support over the years and the notes of encouragement and support we have received from you all.