PHOENIX - We are just 102 days away from Christmas, and while it may seem a ways off, those in the retail industry say it is a good idea to start buying gifts now, and be prepared to spend more.
Officials with a trucking company say while people always see a shortage during the holiday season, and there's always that one product everyone wants but can’t get, people will see that with a lot more products in 2021.
Kristen Bentz, who is President of the KB Advisory Group, says clothing, electronics, furniture, and shoes will take much longer to get to people this season.
"It's COVID, it's labor shortage, cost of doing business. Consumer goods, consumer demands. It's a perfect storm of issues right now," said Bentz.
Bentz says people should not wait to buy.
"Unless you’re actually going to the brick and mortar retail, and that actually might be your better choice at this point when you see it in stock on the shelf, don't wait to buy it," said Bentz.
"Order now for Christmas is the moral of the story," said Tony Bradley, President of the Arizona Trucking Association.
Bradley says nationally, companies are down 50,000 to 150,000 drivers. These delays and driver shortages are a nationwide problem, which is causing a trickle down effect.
Bradley also says currently, there are 56 mega ships sitting at the ports in California. Typically, there would be just one or two.
"The ships are bigger than they were traditionally, so it takes longer to be unloaded. There's not enough drivers and containers to remove the products from those ships and get them to their destination, and then back to the ship yard to unload another container," said Bradley. "As people get anxiety of trying to get those products, they're going to order more. Companies are going to try and refill their warehouses, which is going to put further pressure on those boats."
Bradley says things like burnout, low wages, some drivers going to smaller companies to deliver local are some of the main reasons behind the driver shortages. He also says a major component which people would otherwise not think of is cannabis, as Federal regulations prohibit companies from hiring anyone who uses recreational marijuana. That means in states where marijuana is legal, which includes Arizona, use of marijuana has become an issue.
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