Supply-Chain Chaos: Holiday Edition

供应链是一个网络,通过它,产品从供应商的工厂流向零售商的库存,从而最终被消费者购买. 自疫情开始以来,企业供应链一直面临压力, but the stress intensified in the latter months of 2021, 随着对商品的需求激增,假期即将来临.1



The California ports that receive about 40% of U.S. imports are now operating 24/7, 但工人们仍然跟不上从海外涌入的集装箱船. In mid-November, 积压在海上等待两个多星期卸货的船只创下了记录.2 Other U.S. ports are also congested, 卡车司机和仓库工人的严重短缺进一步减缓了全国各地的货物配送. These bottlenecks held up finished merchandise, 以及在国内生产产品所需的投入和原材料.

复杂的供应链问题一直在增加货运和劳动力成本, delaying shipments, 自2021年春季以来,消费者面临更高的价格和更少的选择. 随着夏至秋去,僵局依然存在,时间所剩无几,这让人们担心美国可能会退出欧盟.S. 零售商将没有足够的商品库存来满足假日期间的消费者需求.

好消息是,许多企业对具有挑战性的环境做出了灵活的反应, and some consumers have been proactive, 太. 下面beplay2来看看这些供应链上的问题可能会如何影响你2021年的假日购物.

Are Retailers Ready?

美国许多最大的零售商都预见到了问题的出现,并竭尽全力确保货架上有充足的各种各样的商品,及时赶上假日购物季. In many cases, 这要求他们支付更高的运费来租用自己的小型船只或货机,这样他们就可以绕过拥堵的港口,弥补生产延误.3

这种昂贵的措施通常不适用于规模较小的零售商, which could put them at a disadvantage. In a November survey, 48%的小企业报告说,供应链中断对他们的假日销售产生了重大负面影响.4

Expecting enthusiastic consumer demand, 全国零售联合会预测创纪录的假日消费为8.5% to 10.5% above 2020 levels. 但零售商也警告消费者,零星的产品短缺和运输延迟将继续,可能在季度晚些时候恶化.5

Poised to Spend

U.S. retail sales rose 1.10月份增长了7%,这是一个出人意料的强劲表现,也是连续第三个月增长.6 广泛报道了某些类型产品的有限选择的可能性, and it seems that consumers are paying attention. According to an annual NRF survey, 创纪录的49%的消费者在11月之前就开始了假日购物, 36%的人这样做是为了避免错过购买重要节日物品的机会.7

U.S. 在大流行期间积累了约2万亿美元的超额储蓄之后,美国家庭今年有额外的钱可以花. 这在很大程度上是由于联邦政府提供的历史性的经济救济, along with fewer spending opportunities due to lockdowns.8 最近消费者支出的增长对零售商和经济增长来说是个好兆头, 但巨大的需求也会对供应链造成压力,推高价格.

A Season of Inflation

Unfortunately, 节日礼物和基本需求的价格不断上涨,可能引发2021年假日季最响亮的“bah humbug”. With businesses paying more for the raw materials, packaging, 劳动, transportation, and fuel needed to produce and distribute products, 一部分额外成本正在转嫁给消费者.

Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prices across the U.S. economy increased 6.截至2021年10月的12个月,通胀率为2%,这是近31年 年来的最高水平. Grocery prices (food at home) rose 5.4% year over year, while prices for the category that includes meats, 家禽, 鱼, and eggs spiked 11.9%.9

Energy prices overall have climbed 30% since October 2020, 使许多家庭温暖舒适的天然气也增加了.1% year over year. Gasoline prices rose nearly 50% over the prior 12 months, 打击那些计划在假期开车参加家庭聚会的家庭的预算.10

因为供需冲击推动了价格的急剧上涨, 一些经济学家仍然认为,这些措施是暂时的,随着供应限制的缓解,通胀将在2022年有所缓和.11 Of course, 对于收入较低、储蓄很少或没有储蓄的消费者来说,即使是短暂的通胀爆发也会特别痛苦, and no one knows for certain how long prices might stay elevated.

Shop Early or Be Flexible

On top of being more expensive, some in-demand products could be hard to find, 运输瓶颈并不是影响供应的唯一问题. A global shortage of semiconductors, or computer chips, is limiting the production of all kinds of electronic devices, including cars, home appliances, 笔记本电脑, smartphones, 电视, and gaming consoles. The availability of some brands of sportswear, 鞋子, 以及配件可能会受到导致越南工厂关闭的COVID疫情的影响. Other reported shortages include jewelry, some popular toys and books, frozen turkeys, cardboard boxes needed for shipping, and Christmas trees, both real and artificial.12

如果你需要一些娱乐物品,或者有家庭成员有他们想要的礼物清单, it could be risky to wait until the last minute to buy them. Otherwise, shopping locally, being open to alternatives, 送现金或礼品卡以后再花可能是你最好的选择.

预测是基于当前的情况,可能会改变,可能不会实现.