A series of unfortunate events affecting the supply chain around the world could lead to product shortages in the United States around the Christmas season.
Tangled shipping lanes on the high seas complicate the smooth running of the U.S. supply chain, and governments around the world, including Joe Biden’s, are beginning to take steps to prevent Christmas from being chaotic.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there were some blockades in different ports; now, with an exponential increase in demand, there are obstacles that prevent the general fulfillment of a large part of the inventories. Added to this are labor shortages and extreme weather events that directly impact the global supply of everything from food and clothing to beverages and diapers.
Joe Biden will announce this Wednesday, October 13, a plan to keep major West Coast ports open 24/7 in an effort to address bottlenecks in the supply chain.
According to the White House, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, will “significantly” increase overnight hours, UPS will operate 24/7 and FedEx will also increase its overnight hours to help with the surge of containers at the ports. Home Depot, meanwhile, has committed to move up to 10 % more containers each week during peak port hours at both California facilities.
High prices complicate supply chain
Supply chain delays and complications are also driving up prices for consumers and retailers.
“As the global economic recovery continues to gather steam, what is increasingly apparent is how it will be stymied by supply-chain disruptions that are now showing up at every corner,” Moody wrote in a report this Monday, Oct. 11.
A New York Post report reveals that in the face of the potentially worsening situation, retailers are looking to solve on their own while turning to alternatives that are not as costly.
“Craft retailer Jo-Ann Stores is floating a plan to lower its astronomical shipping costs by looking into buying its own ship,” the NYP notes.
“A container full of goods now costs the retailer around $30,000 to ship from Asia — compared to $3,000 before the pandemic,” CEO Wade Miquelon told the New York Post.
Burt Flickinger, managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, said it is “unlikely” that at least 20 % to 15 % of the products stranded on ships will hit shelves before Black Friday on Nov. 26.
“Want that new video game console or television for Christmas? You may not be able to get it,” he sentenced.