What The Shipping Crisis Means For The Holidays

NINGBO, CHINA - AUGUST 15: Containers are seen transported at Ningbo-Zhoushan port on August 15, 2021 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province of China. (Photo by Suo Xianglu/VCG via Getty Images)

The vast network of ports, container vessels and trucking companies that moves goods around the world is badly tangled, and the cost of shipping is skyrocketing. Unresolved snags, and the emergence of new problems including the Delta variant, mean shoppers are likely to face higher prices and fewer choices this holiday season. In fact, many brands are already warning their customers of disruptions as the prepare for the crucial year-end period.

The latest obstacle is in China, where a terminal at the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port south of Shanghai has been closed since August 11 after a dock worker tested positive for Covid-19. The partial closure of the world’s third busiest container port is disrupting other ports in China, stretching supply chains that were already suffering from other various reasons. Additionally, various ports in the U.S. are congested, with numerous container ships waiting to enter and be unloaded. The backlog at ports will have a ripple effect on jammed warehouses and stretched road and rail capacity. Oversees shipments currently only have a 40% chance of reaching their destination on time.

Learn more about how this impacts your online shopping here.

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