Plain and simple, the pandemic has been a mess. In regards to online shopping, the global supply chain issues that began in 2020 have only gotten worse. There are pandemic-related delays when it comes to orders as well as increased shipping rates due to these delays. From shipper to seller to shopper, there's a wide range of problems, and they don't seem to be going away any time soon. With the holidays coming up, it's important that shoppers are aware of what these supply chain issues are and what they mean for them.
What's Causing the Supply Chain Shortages?
To put it simply, COVID is causing every supply chain issue. Due to the virus, there are now labor shortages, price spikes when it comes to shipping, delivery disruptions across companies, and more. Since people were home for a year, spending habits pivoted, and instead of going out, people were staying in and buying things online. With the spike in online shopping came a spike in demand, and with that came shipping issues that have yet to be resolved.
Will the Supply Chain Shortages Cause Major Holiday Shipping Delays?
Don't be alarmed, but these supply chain issues will most definitely have a direct impact on shipping delays. Most consumers are already aware of these shipping and delivery problems, so being proactive and getting started on holiday shopping early is highly encouraged. Luckily, many stores still have relatively quick shipping (like Amazon and other retailers that promise expedited options), but don't be shocked if items take a bit longer than usual.
What Are the Christmas Shipping Delays by Mail Carrier?
FYI, there are Christmas shipping deadlines when it comes to mail carrier. Here's the scoop: FedEx Ground Economy's deadline is Dec. 9, Ground Shipping is Dec. 12, and Express Saver is Dec. 21. The FedEx two-day and overnight options are not expected to be affected. As for UPS, the Ground Shipping deadline is Dec. 16, Next Day Air and 2nd Day Air deadlines are Dec. 18, and the 3-Day Select's deadline is Dec. 19. USPS has a deadline for Retail Ground Shipping on Dec. 15, Media Mail on Dec. 16, First Class Mail on Dec. 18, and Priority Mail on Dec. 19. We suggest jotting these down so you remember them in case you want to send a present to a friend or loved one in December.
Which Companies Are Going to Be Affected the Most?
H&M, Nike, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Boohoo have already faced big issues in regards to their supply chain. According to an interview on Bloomberg, "Retailers are having a really hard time filling their shelves," Steve Azarbad, cofounder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Maglan Capital, told the company. "I talk to a lot of suppliers, and they're telling me 'I just can't fill all the orders I'm getting.'" With this in mind, it's important for consumers to be aware that some items might be out of stock. If you have a favorite retailer that you like to shop from, it would be a good idea to check out what they have and buy the items you want sooner rather than later.
Will the Supply Chain Shortages Raise Shipping Prices?
Shipping prices have already begun to boom, and they unfortunately might get worse. To offset costs during their busiest season, USPS is planning to increase shipping rates for all customers starting Oct. 3, and FedEx and UPS are expected to do the same. Look for retailers that have free shipping options or buy online, pickup in store options to avoid these higher costs, or try shopping in person. (Groundbreaking, we know!)
How to Avoid Delays Due to Supply Chain Shortage Issues
Because there are global supply-chain disruptions and congestion at key shipping ports, holiday shipping delays are to be expected. To get ahead of these, shop earlier than usual this year, pay for the more advanced shipping options (overnight, express, etc.) if you can, or shop in person. With so many things up in the air due to the pandemic, don't let holiday gift-giving be one. Shop early, and enjoy the season for all it has to offer.