Sophia Marcantoni (’23) begins her Christmas shopping weeks in advance in hopes that what she order will arrive in time to gift to her loved ones. (Photo Credit: Olivia Book (Achona online))
Sophia Marcantoni (’23) begins her Christmas shopping weeks in advance in hopes that what she order will arrive in time to gift to her loved ones.

Photo Credit: Olivia Book (Achona online)

U.S. supply chain problems & bracing for Christmas shortages

November 12, 2021

As the U.S. economy struggles to fully recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, supply-chain disruptions across the country are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods. Causation of the supply chain blockage stems from the lack of available ships, workers, warehouses, and goods available to supply the demand of the pent-up American consumer market, which had been quiet during the pandemic. Shipping-container shortages and backups at the coast have forced cargo ships to remain floating in the Hudson Bay and outside Los Angeles for weeks at a time, leaving the vendors unknowing of their arrival and consumers weary of finding needed inventory for the holidays season. Experts say we are months out from the return to normalcy, so what does this mean for Christmas? 

The key to salvaging shoppers’ hopes of finding things under the tree is approaching the holiday buying season with an intentional and strategic approach. Shoppers need to obtain big ticket holiday items now before surges to find them across the nation cause further shortages. Black Friday is notorious for its super sales in which shoppers are graced with huge savings on big ticket items that are commonly gifted during the holiday season. However, this year, Americans are faced with the prospect of not being able to acquire those same items. Black Friday deals are expected to come in short as far as optimized savings due to the fact that there is less available product, much higher labor cost and greater demand. Post Black Friday, it is anticipated that the already minimized selection of goods and high prices will rise to become even more of a problem. This could impact common items on Christmas lists year to year including gaming consoles, quality TVs, phones, bicycles, books, and more. 

Sophia Marcantoni (’23) shares how she plans on adapting to the current United States supply chain issues during the holiday season saying, “I am a huge online shopper and love Black Friday. However, this year I have already started to order Christmas gifts to make sure that they will arrive in time for the holiday season.”

If you want to have the Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X under your tree at Christmas, it is recommended that you order the gaming device now. These highly sought after systems are in incredibly high demand driving up prices and making the difficulty of finding them much higher.

Elevated demand, shortages on parts, and whole factories being closed due to the pandemic has fronted the bicycle market with great logistical issues which has surged the price of overall inventory and made their elusive products difficult to obtain. If planning on gifting a bike during the holidays, it is recommended to purchase as early as possible as there is no prospect of sales from well-regarded bike brands

Phones are another highly gifted item during the holiday season that will be very hard to get your hands on this year. Phone production companies are experiencing difficulties collecting components of their products due to the issues in the supply chain. Because of this, sales and promotions have been reduced down to prepaid credits and the prices of plans have skyrocketed from domestic carriers. Phones as of now only have a delay of a few weeks but as the gift-giving season nears, delays are expected to lengthen tremendously. 

When will access to consumer goods return to normal? There is no clear end to these shortages in the post-holiday season and nearly no chance of any alleviation before the holidays. The best thing for American consumers to do is be patient and plan on the depleted affordability of all consumer goods.

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