We all remember in 2020 during peak COVID scariness when anything we ordered online took forever. If you lived in the Midwest there was a 100% guarantee your USPS shipment got stuck in Chicago for weeks on end. And while things aren’t as scarce as they were in 2020, the end of 2021 still is having some pitfalls that are affecting brands that ship online sales.
Even more, small businesses that needed to find a niche to sell online during 2020 (to make up for in-person services or sales they lost during the quarantine); are suffering from what’s happening now. So what is happening?
Shipping is still an issue:
The queue of container ships waiting to enter Los Angeles’s and Long Beach’s neighboring ports hit an all-time high of 65 vessels this past week, and they’ll wait an average of 8.7 days longer to deliver their cargo.
The average transit time from China to the US is now 71 days, compared to 40 days in 2019…and you thought your morning commute was long.
Why it matters: These California ports are the busiest in the US, and they accept the majority of imports from Asia. A snag outside their docks signals an economy-wide slowdown in getting goods → consumers.
To my esthetician clients! They began selling Korean or Chinese skin care products online to make it through the pandemic sales slump, they are now having to wait a long time to get re-stocked.
Product Price Hikes…Again?
Your local stylist to your behemoth Target? Covid-19 worker restrictions in Malaysia have caused the price of palm oil, a key ingredient in every bottle of shampoo, to skyrocket as much as 70%.
Travel restrictions in Vietnam are making coffee beans more expensive for companies like Folgers.
For now, its fine. It will be a really crazy time to buy things come Christmas though. Santa’s elves stationed at Target, Best Buy, and other retailers are scrambling for extra inventory in an effort to keep their shelves stocked for the holiday season.