A backlog of container ships awaiting docking, trucks unable to move inventory, skyrocketing freight costs and labor shortages have all contributed to the country’s supply chain problems. .
Local businesses are trying to manage everything as they head into the crucial holiday shopping season.
The holiday season is important for my New England grandmother’s coffee cake. They blend a variety of flavors, but you won’t find the cappuccino cake this year.
“The cappuccino is made from pure Italian espresso,” said owner Bob Katz. “One of the reasons we had to cut back was that we couldn’t get espresso from overseas.
It’s one of the ingredients you can’t get, and we won’t use any substitutes. “
The company even struggled to get the nutmeg needed for its pumpkin cakes, even though it came from Connecticut.
“We have a truck, we can go and get it, but they didn’t even have the employees on the loading dock to be able to load it where the nutmeg was being made,” Katz said.
But he says planning ahead has them in good shape with boxes and boxes for the holidays.
“Our shipping department is amazing at making deals with these companies well in advance,” Katz said. “Because if we don’t have boxes, we are bankrupt and there were challenges, they had to change things and make deals with people to buy more than what we need, but everything it takes. They do an incredible job. “
At Boston Honey Company, they have a lot of honey – the jars and lids are the problem.
“This is the glass jar that we use for one of our products, it contains 16 ounces of honey,” said co-owner Addie Reseska.
She has spent hours online looking for distributors who can provide her with what she needs.
“The stress is if you don’t have the container, how can you distribute the product, how can you pay the employees? Asked Reseska. “It flows through everything. Payroll, distribution, all that, so it keeps you from sleeping at night, a lot of stress, yes.”
In Vermont, the maple syrup makers of Coombs Family Farms tell us the prices of bottles, caps, labels and carton have gone up and labor is scarce.
Gilette admits she faces a challenging landscape, but says her team are working tirelessly to ensure clients have access to their grooming products.
Hasbro in Rhode Island said in a recent earnings report that they are working tirelessly to secure products for the holidays, and Stop & Shop tells us they are working diligently to keep high demand products in stock. Juices, juice boxes, animal feed and paper items are currently hard to come by.
It won’t happen in time for the holidays, but a supply chain expert says the distribution bottleneck will eventually go away.
“Retailers and manufacturers can’t supply if they don’t,” said Lauren Beitelspacher, associate professor in the marketing division at Babson College. “There will be community interventions and government interventions to get things done. The buying and selling of consumer goods is an essential part of our economy. So there is a huge incentive to clarify that and move things forward.
Some expert tips this holiday season – don’t wait until the last minute. Whether you are shopping for gifts, food, or essential household items, if you see it and need it, go ahead and buy it. You might not get the best deal, but otherwise you might not get the product at all.