Yes, it’s a bit too much that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is coming out in August and that my local grocery store has had a special Thanksgiving aisle for weeks. But when I tell you now is the time to start shopping for Christmas gifts, it’s because if you don’t buy soon, supply chain issues can make it difficult to get what you want. want later.
Ports of Seattle and Tacoma expect pandemic shortages to worsen in fall
There are labor shortages and COVID outbreaks that have closed factories and prevented workers from unloading shipping containers and driving trucks. H&M, Bed Bath & Beyond and Nike are all underwater. A toy maker said Bloomberg that about $ 8 million of its toys are in a factory in China due to a shortage of shipping containers. One of the country’s largest toy companies said it had more than 600 containers full of toys that had been stranded in the Port of Los Angeles for six weeks while waiting to be unloaded.
But Americans buy; we are expected to spend 7-9% more than the holiday season of last year.
Mark Kapczynski is the Marketing Director of Gooten, a print-on-demand company that doesn’t make a product until it’s been ordered. He says the old model of supply chain needs to change.
“The longer the package has to stop along the way to get to its destination, that’s what’s hurting us right now,” Kapczynski said. “Things have to go from country to country by ship, to a distribution center by train or truck, to a warehouse, then to a store or online. Then it must be reconditioned and reassembled in a truck or plane and shipped to a consumer. When you have that many jumps in the supply chain network, you are tied to the problems we face. “
If companies reduce the number of shutdowns made by their products, won’t it cost more? Haven’t we started to manufacture abroad to lower prices considerably?
“Here’s the misnomer: I think what tends to happen is people look at the unit cost. Like a stuffed animal, they think they can buy cheaper overseas than I can here in the United States. But they just look at the unit cost, they don’t look at all the effort to ship it and store it in inventory, ”Kapczynski said. “Could you order all the raw materials and have them assembled here?” And do it as efficiently and cost effectively? I think you could probably get close to it.
He thinks it’s ridiculous for companies to have to order tens of thousands of units of a product they don’t even sell. Kapczynski believes that on-demand production should be the way of the future.
“For me, what is fundamentally wrong is the way we sell things, the way we have to pre-create an inventory that sometimes, and most of the time, doesn’t even sell,” a- he declared. “Look at Tesla. Tesla does not build anything until it has already been purchased. Europe doesn’t have dealerships with cars sitting on them. It’s more of an American thing.
Reports predict that these supply chain problems could last for years. I asked Kapczynski when he thought this might fix.
” I hope not ! It’s good for companies to have to make changes, to do things that are also more sustainable and that support our planet, ”he replied. “I don’t want it to go back to the old way, where all this material is just transported, trained and shipped around the world. I want to move to a different, cleaner model where we only make what we consume and consumers will benefit, retailers will benefit, and ultimately the people who manufacture and ship will have a little bit of pressure on them.
This holiday season, expect higher prices and less inventory.
To get people to shop early, Amazon launched “Black Friday-worthy” deals on Monday and Target plans to do the same next week. To avoid supply chain issues, shop in person at local stores or, conversely, big box stores like Walmart that avoid the freight problem by chartering their own ships and using their own planes.