Companies that supply items to businesses like Target and Walmart for the holiday season could see a delay in shipments. Many businesses have already placed orders in the event that there is a wait due to cargo issues and holds that could occur so that stores will be stocked for Christmas. The fear is that merchandise will be slow coming from China because of the pandemic as this is where many items are made for stores in the United States and areas across Europe.
Stores that sell everything from clothes to toys foresee some kind of delay before the holiday season, which is why orders have been placed weeks ahead of schedule to ensure that there is enough for customers to buy. There could be delays due to tight quarters in the shipping canals and due to more ships trying to depart from China and other countries that provide products at the same time. There is also a shortage of containers that are used for packing items that are shipped from one country to another.
Some stores have already seen a decrease in the number of items that they have on the shelves. This is at a time when customers are beginning to look at what they want to purchase for Christmas and start laying away items so that they get the best deals on popular toys and electronics that might not be available closer to Black Friday and the shopping season. An executive from MGA Entertainment believes that this holiday shopping season could become a mess if items aren't delivered on time so that stores can set up displays and get everything ready for shoppers. The Yantian port is only one of the areas where ships and containers are stuck and trying to get through the canals so that they can reach the United States and Europe. This port is one of the main ones that China uses for Amazon.
The Yantian port only reopened in late June, which means that ships that have been sitting there are trying to get on their journey along with new ships that are departing from China. Some ships are overbooked, which could result in damaged items. There are also fewer containers for companies to use, which means they have been waiting for the ships to come back so that they can load them again with the containers that were sent. With customers buying items in stores, there's no way for businesses to build a stockpile so that they can have something on hand to sell for the Christmas season unless the ships are able to make their deliveries in time. Some stores are worried that the decorations and trees that they usually have in time for July and August won't arrive until September or October.