The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how many things work. Schools closed, jobs suddenly turned remote, and it became impossible to get together with friends and family. However, these aren’t the only things affected by the pandemic. Since everything had to close down, the effects of COVID-19 severely disrupted the supply chain for different retailers.
While it’s understandable to hope that things will get better by the time this year’s holiday season rolls around, you’ll, unfortunately, be disappointed. As early as today, experts are advising shoppers to start planning what they want to buy already.
Several issues surrounding supply chains, materials, and shipping will be the leading causes of disruption for holiday shoppers. That said, it’s still possible to keep your Christmas experience relatively stress-free by keeping yourself updated on the US’ current shortage situation and supply chain issues.
Here’s what’s going on:
When it comes to shipping consumer goods, the main issue comes down to cost. Transportation has been affected at a global scale, causing shipping costs to quadruple this year. Since the outbreak of the Delta variant, workers have been missing shifts, port terminals have closed, and cross-border movements have slowed significantly.
Employers are also having trouble filling jobs that require around-the-clock unloading from cargo ships, resulting in a blockage of vessels off the coasts. If you were looking forward to doing your holiday shopping online, you might want to rethink that. Because of the transportation issues happening all over the country, USPS, FedEx, and UPS have all released holiday shipping deadlines to accommodate demands in time for the holidays.
The blockages in shipping have also caused a shortage in supply. When you add up the shipping issues with the demand of the US consumer market, you get retailers struggling to meet these demands. Supply shortages are happening throughout the supply chain. Every industry, from toys to books, clothes, and electronics, is experiencing shortages, backorders, and delays. So, not only will these products be difficult to get, but it also means their prices will increase to curb the market’s demand.
You can expect to see more frequent out-of-stock signages at your local stores. Some food and drink categories are also likely to be affected in the coming months, including bakery items. Because of this, it’s better to be flexible about the brands you plan to buy from and expect to go home with a different one altogether.
Aside from the pandemic, environmental factors have also been at play in affecting the holiday experience in the US. Last month, the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) stated that consumers should buy their Christmas trees in advance. The effects of climate change have brought on unexpected weather trends in the Pacific Northwest.
These weather trends have caused a lot of droughts, wildfires, and heatwaves. In Oregon, over 90 percent of their crop was damaged and lost. You can expect to see a lot of shortages with Christmas trees, so it’s best to get yours soon.
The holidays are truly going to be a different experience this year. However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to give you and your loved ones the best experience the world’s current situation can permit. To get ahead of the curb and reduce your holiday shopping stress, plan what gifts you want to buy ahead of time and get your Christmas tree earlier than you normally would.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected people’s lives, jobs, and lifestyles, and there’s still a long way to go before everyone around the world can witness a stable sense of normalcy. However, keeping yourself informed of the current events can help make daily activities easier.
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