CNN doesn’t always get everything right these days, but in this case they are spot on when reporting about global container shortages and shipping delays which could postpone your holiday shopping well into the first part of next year. The link to the full article is below but in short shipping delays at ports in China and Vietnam due to COVI-19-based port closures, delays on container ships entering the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a lack of workers and drivers, and pent up consumer demand in the U.S. as we spend our stimulus checks, all add up to a perfect storm of economic issues which may not let up until early next year if then.

What does this mean for the consumer? Get your shopping done now or make due with item shortages or alternate plans such as service-based items. What does this mean for the small business? If you are a retailer expect price hikes on products you will sell if they come from overseas and don’t expect them to arrive until very late in the year. For consumers and businesses alike, this is the time to truly think, as the cliche phrase states, outside the box to find items we want and that can be supplied so Christmas isn’t canceled. Now is that time to pivot if you are able to get what you want.

Here is the article: The Shipping Crisis is Getting Worse. Here’s How it Could Affect Holiday Shopping – CNN International

As a consumer here is what you can do. For once in most of your lives, if you’re like me anyway, consider starting now with any holiday shopping you need to do. We all say we’ll do it each year but few follow through. Don’t wait as that thing you want may not be here or may be mroe expensive. If you’re just not ready yet wait and take your chances in early January or February. Also, consider gifts which are services or better yet…try to find someone locally who has or makes what you want and buy from them.

If you are a business you need to find alternative supply chains. Depending on the products you sell you might even look online or in trade groups for people making what you need locally or regionally. If you find items that people might want nearby or at least in-country, get the word out to customers on existing lists or on web site or social media. If you have it they will come.

In addition to the products you buy, the containers that carry them are in short supply but some companies hang on to inventory so look them up and shop around. Dont’ be afraid to consider rental over sales for a time. On the flip side if your business is one of those who needs creative options then, as with the containers, I can help.