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DIGGING DEEPER: Local business is busy shipping masks and hand sanitizer

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TUCSON - What we shop for and how we do it has dramatically changed.  

One Tucson business told New 4 Tucson's Digging Deeper Team some of the companies it represents has turned to manufacturing hand sanitizer and selling face masks to fulfill the current demand.

At Custom Backoffice Solutions on Country Club Road, it's Christmas in April, said Tiffany Pierson, the operations manager. 

"We've had an influx of orders by the hundreds which kind of reminds us of Christmastime," said Pierson.

Pierson said as quickly as they receive the products at the fulfillment center, they're shipping them off just as fast.

Especially face masks, and hand sanitizer.

"We have clients who sell tools that are now selling masks," said Pierson. "We have clients that sell skin care products who are now including masks in their orders." 

Another client switched from making skin line products, Pierson added, and is now manufacturing hand sanitizer due to the need. 

However, the demand for masks tops the list of shoppers' demands. 

The fulfillment center received a small shipment of masks last Thursday and were promised 10 more cases by Saturday of last week.

The shipment has yet to arrive. 

"Friday I was told UPS doubled the price per packages coming out of China," Pierson said.

A shipment that would normally cost $500 to $600 for a fulfillment center is now costing $2,600 and the cost changes by the day. 

Also, if you pay for next day delivery but don't receive the package, you aren't reimbursed.

Jean Reehl is CEO of the business and she has over 50 clients from all over the world. 

Reehl's biggest concern is not being able to the masks out to her customers. 

"I have a doctor's office, I have two in-home care offices," said Reehl. "We ship to another company in Virginia."

These are all businesses that desperately need the masks.

"They're made, they're sitting there, ready to come here," said Reehl. "And we can't get them here."

Reehl added, there is a hint of normalcy on the horizon. 

Reehl pointed to pallets of boxes filled with baby crib mobiles at the warehouse that have been sitting there for over a month. 

Those boxes are waiting to be shipped to Amazon, but Amazon wasn't accepting new shipments unless they were medical related. 

That regulation was just lifted and the pallets of boxes will be shipped out Monday.

Reehl said she is optimistic because she started to see orders for regular shopping demands return. 

This is a good sign that things just may slowly be getting back to normal.