US stores scramble for supply ahead of the holiday season

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left American households facing an unpleasant holiday season. The holiday season had to be celebrated without some of their favorite items on store shelves.

Even as demand soars, as the world’s largest economy reopens, U.S. retail stores are working hard to avoid a slowdown in year-end celebrations, taking unprecedented action to tackle supply chain bottlenecks.

The most dramatic moves include those from Walmart and other major franchise stores chartering their own vessels to deal with delays in the arrival of goods at West Coast ports.

Other solutions include importing earlier, launching promotional items for Christmas gifts sooner. The way of shipping goods is also switching to shipping by air which arrives faster, than by sea by ship.

“Many companies have made decisions over the past 30 days to ‘change the way,'” said Neel Jones Shah, global head of air freight at Flexport, a freight forwarder. [ps/jm]

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