Supply Chain Disruptions Spark Early Holiday Shopping
2 min read
Author: Olivia Greene
Ever since the pandemic started back in March of 2020, we have heard endless news stories about disruptions in the supply chain. Consumers were baffled by shortages ranging from toilet paper to vaccines, and now these shortages are beginning to affect holiday shopping. If you’ve tuned in to your local news station over the past few weeks, you understand that your holiday shopping must start NOW. We’re here to explain why this is happening and provide tips that will help you prepare for this holiday season.
What’s Causing this Logistical Nightmare?
The answer: A number of pandemic-related problems. Many factories have been forced to shut down to reduce the spread of illness, or because management cannot find employees who are comfortable to work. According to Forbes Advisor, the retail industry has moved much of its manufacturing to Southeast Asian countries because it is more cost effective. However, these countries have suffered and continue to suffer through the pandemic, and it’s slowing down retail around the world. Companies are now facing a new challenge: they have to decide if they are willing to spend more to manufacture elsewhere or risk an unstable supply chain process. For consumers, this may mean that prices will rise, unfortunately, just in time for the holiday season.
Another problem lies in transportation. According to WESCO, domestic and international freight has experienced “system disruptions” that are slowing down delivery time while increasing costs. In ports around the world, there are container ships accumulating at an alarming rate because the trucking industry is struggling to hire drivers to move the cargo. To become a truck driver, one must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) through the state DMV. There is high demand for truck drivers across the country, and companies are willing to pay drivers a pretty penny at this time to help solve this problem.
How Consumers can Prepare for the holidays
With all of these issues at hand, what can consumers do to prepare? Start shopping as soon as possible. Beat the holiday rush to ensure that you are paying the best possible prices and receiving items on time. Prices will only go up to compensate for this manufacturing and transportation crisis. Ask your children to write their lists for Santa now to be sure that Santa, his elves, and the reindeer have plenty of time to make, package, and deliver gifts by Christmas Day.
Consider giving gift cards this holiday season. After the holidays, we should expect to see some more supply chain stability and increased inventory at our favorite retailers. Gift cards typically do not expire and can be used any time throughout the year, so they are a considerable option to give you peace of mind and the recipient that ability to pick whatever he or she would like.
For hot ticket items, be sure that you are researching and comparing prices across multiple different vendors to ensure that you are getting the best deals. Also, pay close attention to delivery dates and fees, as those may start to get pushed back while costing you more. Products in high demand may start to sell out fast, and in many cases, it could take a long time for those items to restock.
As you shop, remember the reason for the season. We may not be able to get our hands on all of the items we want this year, but if the pandemic taught us anything, that is to enjoy every moment with our loved ones. Happy shopping!
Have you started holiday shopping yet? Leave us a comment below or let us know on social media!
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