- The supply chain has been in chaos since the pandemic started, causing shortages and price hikes.
- Holiday shopping demand is set to worsen the shipping crisis.
- This holiday season Americans can expect soaring prices, shortages, and travel cancellations.
Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new shortage popping up.
Major supply-chain disruptions have coincided with a boom in consumer demand, which has caused mass shortages and price hikes. Experts warn this holiday shopping season will look different than any other, as retailers struggle to stock goods in time for the holiday season and travel companies combat a labor shortage.
From shortages of popular holiday gifts to travel cancellations, here are some of the biggest supply-chain snags you should factor into your holiday plans this year.
A nationwide drought and scorching temperatures across the Pacific Northwest caused Christmas tree acreage in key states like Oregon to drop by 24% this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Supply snags have also impacted the available supply of artificial trees. National Tree Company CEO Chris Butler told Fox Business that shoppers should get their trees as soon as possible, as he expects supplies will not last past Thanksgiving — the peak week for buying Christmas trees.
In particular, meat suppliers say turkeys that weigh less than 16 pounds (7kg) will be in short supply due to their popularity. One of the largest turkey suppliers in the US, Shady Brook Farms, told The New York Post that the industry is struggling with production issues, as well as a lack of workers.
Turkeys that are available will be pricey. The average wholesale price for an eight to 16 pound frozen turkey climbed 21% in mid-November, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The American Farm Bureau said on Monday that Thanksgiving food costs have soared over the past month and estimated a complete meal will cost about 14% more than the previous year.
New and used car prices have surged this year. Automakers were forced to slash production goals due to the global shortage of computer chips.
Used cars became nearly $US6,500 ($AU9,034) more expensive this year, while new cars tacked on about $US5,000 ($AU6,949) to the price tag as compared to the previous year, Insider’s Tim Levin reported in October.
The global semiconductor shortage has wreaked havoc on the tech industry. Even Apple will likely be forced to cut production goals for its iPhone 13 as a result of the shortage. Earlier this month, Digitimes reported that iPhone 13 supplies will not catch up with demand until February of next year.
On Tuesday, CBS Los Angeles reported the shipping crisis has created a shortage of donated toys for programs designed to distribute goods to families in need.
More than 85% of US toys were made over seas, according to the Toy Association. The CEO of a mid-sized toy company, Basic Fun, told Bloomberg last month that his company has about $US8 ($AU11) million worth of goods — which could fill 140 shipping containers — waiting to ship out on the 75-day trip from China to their final destination.
MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian said parents might have to pivot toward buying less popular items due to product availability.
An analysis from Adobe Digital Insights found that clothing had the highest forecast out-of-stock levels of any other shopping category this holiday season.
Shipping delays, as well as near-decade-high cotton prices, are impacting the availability and cost of anything from T-shirts to jeans and jackets.
The cost of rental cars has been on the rise all year, peaking at $US700 ($AU973) per day. While prices show some signs of easing as demand drops from summer highs, analysts told Insider’s Brittany Chang the market will maintain elevated prices through the holiday season.
In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights across the country, citing weather issues.
Last month, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said ticket prices are on the rise due to soaring jet fuel costs. The Airline said it is expecting this December to be the busiest air travel month the industry has seen in almost two years, but staff shortages have caused long wait times and lines at airports.
In October, Southwest Airline’s massive meltdown during Columbus Day weekend hinted at how holiday travel might look different this year. A ripple effect of poor weather and “air traffic control issues” caused over 360 flights to be cancelled and even more to be delayed.
Nearly 4 million more people than last year are expected to hit the roads over Thanksgiving, according to the American Automobile Association. AAA predicts fuel prices will continue to rise throughout the winter, as cold weather puts more pressure on oil prices.
In September, CNBC reported that major hotel chains, including Hilton and Marriot, were already seeing a huge spike in early holiday bookings. Milepro.com, a travel booking website, noted that multiple hotels that have been fully booked for the holiday season already.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows hotel prices have surged 18% from this time last year.