- Home Depot has contracted its own container ship to bring its products to the US.
- Home Depot is among many retailers hit by a global shipping crisis that has led to delays and rising prices.
- Experts say holiday season shopping may be disrupted by limited stock and higher prices.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Home Depot, hoping to sidestep a global shipping crisis, has contracted its own ship to transport its goods.
The home-improvement store is one of many retailers grappling with shipping delays and rising costs caused by supply-chain problems. According to data from the Journal of Commerce, cited by CNBC, Home Depot is the third-largest importer by sea freight in the US.
“We have a ship that’s solely going to be ours,” Home Depot president and COO Ted Decker said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s just going to go back and forth with 100% dedicated to Home Depot.”
A breakdown in the freight supply chain, created by falling demand in the first half of 2020 followed by a surge at the end of the year, has led to delays, port traffic jams, and blockages. A lack of containers and dock workers is making this worse.
For retailers, this means a risk of low stock, especially as we approach the holiday season.
“Right now, they are all trying to figure out ‘How do we mitigate that risk to make sure that we’ve got the product here in time for when those holiday season sales start?'” Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation, told CNBC.
“That could mean moving up timing for when you bring your product in, which could further lead to additional congestion and delays,” he said.
Experts say that this crisis will also lead to higher costs for customers, as retailers hike the prices to recoup the cost of shipping, which in some cases is ten times more than before the pandemic.
Clorox, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills are among major brands to have announced recent price hikes.