Start shopping for the holidays now to avoid pandemic shipping issues

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Supply chain problems created by pandemic are forcing experts to tell people to do their holiday shopping ASAP

If you’ve ordered things online recently and find that packages take forever to arrive, you’re not alone. COVID supply chain issues and a record increase in shipments mean packages are being held up at loading docks from China to the United States. if not for the holiday season, experts say to place your orders online ASAP if you intend to open the gifts on Christmas Day.

The pandemic, labor shortages for truckers, shipping difficulties, restrictions on travel and border crossings and delicate trade deals mean the supply chain is completely turned upside down – and it means therefore that holiday shopping has become much more delicate. Axios says it will be difficult to get holiday gifts, but also basics like coffee and shoes, and that will likely persist until spring.

“The pandemic was a big factor because it caused a major disruption, everyone was clamoring for paper products, water, even cans of tuna. Then there were closures and the pandemic affected work. Basically we didn’t know how to deal with a change in supply issue, ”Simon Croon, professor of supply chain management at the University of San Diego, told NBC News.

“It’s a problem from loading docks in China to retail loading docks in the United States,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Toy Association. Hello america. “The biggest part being that shipping is extraordinarily expensive and takes much longer than ever before.”

In many ports, container ships simply sit alongside waiting to be unloaded for days, if not months, at a stretch.

MGA Entertainment and Basic Fun, the toy distributors behind LOL Surprise! dolls, Little Tikes, Bratz dolls, Tonka trucks, Fisher-Price toys, and more have told CNN their toys will, unfortunately, be harder to find and more expensive this year.

So what does this mean for your holiday shopping?

  • Start shopping online now.

“Anything that will become the hot toy of the season in the next month or two may not be there in huge amounts,” Pasierb said. GMA. “It’s definitely the holiday season now, Labor Day through early October, it’s one of the best buys, the best pick.”

Hello america says that means do NOT wait for Black Friday sales. Buy It Now. Especially if you have your eye on something specific or something that you want to buy online.

  • You can always buy brick and mortar if you’re not picky.

If you’d rather browse a retail store in person, you can always do that. Stores will have products – it’s more of a problem if you have your eye on something specific. But if you want to roll the dice and see which target arrived in November, go for it. The stores won’t be wasteland, but Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun, told CNN that “you’re going to find several times during the holiday season when store shelves are going to have empty holes.”

Online shopping has overtaken local ma and pa retailers because it is cheaper and more convenient, but with these new supply chain issues the ‘convenience’ aspect is questionable, so why not shop in your store? local craft shops and fairs for locally made products this year? Your local artisans and small business owners will thank you.

The bottom line?

As Axios Brittain Ladd, head of supply chain and marketing for Kuecker Pulse Integration (KPI), which helps companies like Amazon automate their supply chains, tells Axios. “I don’t think they should be pinning their hopes on the big toy or the big fashion item that might be coming. The attitude should be, “Let’s not be as picky as we maybe have been in the last few years. Let’s be happy with what we can find.

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