Stock UP!! Brace yourself for a new wave of shortages.
Given the situation in the Suez Canal and the container crunch, several types of products could become harder to find before long.
1. Toilet paper
One of the companies impacted by the container crisis is Suzano SA. The Brazilian company is the world’s largest producer of wood pulp, used to make toilet paper, and it’s warning that the lack of containers could slow shipments to its production partners.
Suzano CEO Walter Schalka told Bloomberg his company shipped less product in March than anticipated and has been forced to delay some shipments into April. A global shortage is possible.
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Deliveries of furniture are being affected by the shipping industry issues. La-Z-Boy recently said on an earnings call that customers can expect to wait for their new sofas and chairs anywhere from five to nine months after placing their orders.
Congestion at ports in Southern California, where many containers from Asia arrive, has been an issue for months.
And the Suez shutdown held up shipments of furniture from Ikea, which is based in Sweden. “The blockage of the Suez Canal is an additional constraint to an already challenging and volatile situation for global supply chains brought on by the pandemic,” Ikea said in a statement.
The wholesale club chain Costco recently blamed a shortage of imported cheese on the shipping container shortfall. The retailer cited issues at ports along the West Coast, from Seattle down through California.
“Overseas freight has continued to be an issue in regards to container shortage and port delays,” Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti told analysts on a call in March. “This has caused timing delays on certain categories.”
Galanti said Costco also has had trouble keeping its giant stores stocked with furniture, sporting goods and lawn equipment, in addition to other imported food items like seafood and olive oils.