(FiveNation.com)- It’s no secret that there are massive shortages in the supply chain, but now it’s gotten so bad that it could ruin Christmas for many.
There are reports that huge cargo ships are simply waiting out in the ocean, circling ports around the United States because they don’t have an available place to dock and unload their cargo. They are filled to the brim with electronics, staple goods, toys, clothing and more.
As October is coming to a close, this is proving to be a huge problem for retailers who are making their final preparations for the holiday shopping season. This is the time of year when many retailers make a majority of their money, so it’s crucial that get supplies as quick as possible.
Because of the supply chain disruptions, though, it’s possible there could be huge delays in shipments for Christmas gifts. As a result, many retail executives are encouraging consumers to shop now before it’s too late.
On Monday, the executive vice president of the Toy Association, Ed Desmond, advised:
“Get out and buy toys now. If you see toys you think the kids are going to want for Christmas, pick them up now and tuck them away to make sure you have them.
“We’re certainly hoping that more containers come in both for the major retailers and to help some of these small stores. But, one issue that we do fear is you may not see the same breadth of selection.”
According to a recent report in Forbes, there are more than 70 ships up and down the West Coast that have been waiting three months to simply dock and unload their goods. It’s become so bad that there is a 40-mile line of ships waiting to dock.
Each of these ships has roughly 14,000 containers, Forbes said, with each valued at approximately $100,000. In total, that makes more than $106 trillion worth of goods that are just in limbo out at sea.
It’s not just a shipping problem, though. There is a lack of truck drivers who can then take the containers from the shipping yards and transport them to the appropriate warehouses. This follows in line with other employment shortages that many industries in the supply chain are currently facing.
This is all adding up to a potential major problem for the holiday shopping season. It’s not just retail that’s hurting, though.
There is a general lack of raw materials that manufacturers need, which is causing massive delays in production, even though there is a high demand for their services.
The New York Times reported over the weekend that manufacturers in the United States are waiting on average 92 days to assemble raw materials and parts into their end products.
Major retailers such as Walmart, Target and Home Depot are as a result reporting shortages in major staples such as toilet paper once again because of this supply chain shortage.