With a shortage of goods and high transportation costs, the retail market is precarious ahead of the year-end holiday. From this week, those who order products made abroad risk not receiving them until after Christmas, said Associate Professor Jimmy Chen of Bucknell University.
Logistics cannot meet consumer demand before the holiday
Toys, clothes, electronics are all at risk
“For the general consumer, if you order now, it may be too late,” Mr. Chen said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Steve Patton – President of Watsontown Freight Company said that more than 80 ships are anchored in San Pedro Bay and waiting to be unloaded on October 1. The number of ships is nearly double the previous record of 41 in March this year.
According to The Washington Post , retailers Walmart and Home Depot are chartering their own ships to import products. Amazon is also adding cargo planes to deliver goods for the upcoming shopping season.
Sea shipments from China to the US take an average of 73 days to arrive, 89% longer than in September 2019, according to Freightos.com . Next, the average shipping cost of a container from Asia to the US West Coast is $19,182 – 417% higher than in 2020.
Seaport congestion is not a typical concern for consumers. To solve that situation, humans can try to accelerate by adopting technological advancements, advancements in workforce automation.
Port congestion is not the only problem. In addition, supply chain delays are described by Mr. Patton as a waterfall effect.
“The whole supply chain, especially imported products, is in a very stressful situation,” Mr. Patton said.
The outbreak of Covid-19 caused production factories and seaports to close, including a large port in China. According to a joint statement, cargo volumes have increased by 30% at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in recent times. Containers are being piled up at the yard, waiting for drivers to come and take them to domestic ports and distribution centers.
Labor shortages in the supply chain affect the delivery efficiency of retailers. Walmart, Aldi, Amazon and Dollar General are among the major retailers looking to hire tens of thousands of employees.
“No matter how high wages are, companies can’t find people,” said Mr. Chen .
“All goods will arrive”
Two retailers in downtown Lewisburg share how delayed shipping is negatively impacting their business. Connie Harter from Retrah said she has received most of the holiday goods here since July, the rest is starting to ship.
While Laurie Slear of The Mercantile says the tradition, she ordered service last season from February. This year too. What is different from previous years is that she requires immediate delivery when in stock, previous years are after October 1st.
“We only have a short time, but all the goods are coming and going,” Slear said.
Slear shared last year, she was always worried about ordering too many goods in the context of the unstable economy. Now, she hopes The Mercantile will have enough inventory through the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Harter is competing fiercely to win shipments for Retrah, especially fashion items because of the huge amount of sales.
“We’re just trying to get whatever we can and encourage people to buy now. We don’t know what’s going to happen by Christmas,” Harter said.
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