To avoid any disappointment come December, retailers in Canada are urging consumers to get started on their holiday shopping.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into global supply chains — the complex process of getting consumers goods from where they are made to where they are sold.
The problems started last year when factories across Asia were forced to shut down due to coronavirus outbreaks.
Rates for the route from China to the west coast of North America have jumped to more than $20,000 per shipping container, compared to $4,500 a year ago, according to Freightos.com, a global freight booking platform.
Meanwhile, widespread labour shortages meant not enough workers to unload those container ships, causing record backlogs at ports on the West Coast.
Logistics experts expect the supply chain problems will take months to iron out. That means during this year’s holiday shopping season, consumers can expect to have less choice — especially when it comes to the most popular toys.
“Some of those items are going to sell out even faster. They’re going to be replenished even slower. They’re going to be harder to find,” said Andrew Wagar, spokesperson for the Canadian Toy Association.