Christmas toy shortage fears as pandemic disrupts global supply
Christmas may still be months away, but infrastructure experts and retailers are already bracing for potential shortages this holiday season.
The Marine Exchange of Southern California, which News week contacted for comment, noted in its September 15 update how 61 container ships are anchored offshore.
This record number is forced to queue for a week or more to dock and then unload its cargo at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
And the infrastructure issues are by no means confined to the West Coast of the United States, and the issues could well be the disappointment of the kids on December 25.
Willy Shih, Robert & Jane Cizik professor of management practice at Harvard Business School, suggests that buyers across the country can therefore expect popular toys to be both rarer and more expensive this Christmas.
He said News week: âVirtually everything that moves by containerized sea freight, which constitutes 95% of the products traded globally, will experience disruption this year.
“This is due to historic tensions over the capacity of container shipping lines, but more importantly to port infrastructure and domestic distribution networks. Many importers have responded by ordering additional cargo and trying to arrange earlier deliveries. , which only made the situation worse.
“We will see shortages and higher transportation costs, likely reflected by high price inflation, across a wide range of industries. Toys will be no exception.”
Among the ramifications of the pandemic was a growing demand for shipping containers in which all cargo is carried, due to the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) around the world.
And that problem has been exacerbated by the disruption of workflows brought on by coronavirus lockdowns and absenteeism due to poor health.
Gene Seroka, from the Port of Los Angeles, who News week approached for comment, told ABC7 how scaling up operations and recruiting drives could help save the day.
He said: “We need more workers at work. We probably need longer hours to match work being done in other segments of the supply chain.”
Steven Le Van, general manager of Le Toy Van, confirmed that the industry faces challenges.
He said News week: âWe are seeing record customer demand as more and more people spend time at home discovering sustainable products and specifically invest in toys for the educational development of their children.
âThe Toy Van, like many brands, faces constant challenges with supply chains due to COVID-19 combined with shortages of transportation, raw materials and labor. As a company, we had to stockpile. “
A Baby Yoda Animatronic doll, a Space jam The “Lebron James” Shoot + Dunk playset and LOL Surprise OMG Movie Magic studios are among the toys that are expected to be the most popular in Christmas 2021.
Concerns about the lack of Christmas toys coincide with the news that a woman has received a “passive-aggressive” gift from her mother.
MonicaFaloolaGeller has reached out to Mumsnet to reveal her displeasure after receiving a JML Finishing Touch Flawless epilator as a potentially tactless gift.