The pandemic has thrown us all for a loop, and it will continue to have impacts that are both temporary and long-term. For the promo industry, these impacts are taking the form of supply chain disruptions due to shipping delays, production issues and price increases. We’re going to take a closer look at the supply chain issues distributors can anticipate in the coming weeks and months.
Temporary Supply Chain Impacts
- Positive COVID-19 Cases: Surges in COVID-19 cases have been causing disruptions in many industries. In January 2021, 700 dockworkers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach tested positive, which resulted in 45 ships stuck just waiting to unload. Hopefully with the continued rollout of the vaccines, these instances will become less and less frequent.
- Slower Ground Shipping: There has been a huge spike in online shopping over the past year, which means that promo product shipments are battling for space on trucks plus FedEx, UPS and DHL have all increased fees in 2021. It’s important to be aware of slower ship times so clients are still getting their products when they need them without having to over pay.
- Increased Costs: Ocean freight container shipping costs have tripled, and prices for raw materials and ground shipping costs have also increased, which means higher prices overall.
Long-Term Supply Chain Impacts
- Product In China: Ever since the pandemic started there have been delays in production and shipments in China, which is where many promo product manufacturers exist. Continued tariffs and tensions mean that this could continue to be an issue, which is why many companies are looking to move their production elsewhere. China still remains the cheapest place for production, but suppliers will have to reconcile that with fluctuating shipping costs and delays.
These are just a few supply chain trends that you should be aware of. Don’t get caught in an unexpected situation with no support, instead partner with the promo experts at AIA. Our team can help you plan and stay prepared for your business’ future.