Experts Are Suggesting You Get Your Holiday Shopping Done ASAP Because of Worsening Shipping Delays

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It’s barely even Halloween yet, and experts say we all need to start thinking about Christmas. That’s right, let’s just skip over spooky ghosts and jack-o-lanterns, and heck, we’ll even skip over trimming the turkey on Thanksgiving too—it’s time to break out the mistletoe and eggnog and check off gifts for everyone on your list.

Because of pandemic-induced international shipping delays, plus peak retail season on the horizon, experts expect that waiting until the last minute to buy gifts will result in not having anything for your friends and family—or wrapping up photos of the item and not actually receiving it until well past December.

“Major retailers are expecting a strong holiday shopping season, but have warned of limited inventories, longer shipping times, labor shortages and fewer discounts,” Morgan Stanley economists told investors.

The supply chain has been backed up for months, which means longer shipping and delivery times. The biggest issue is a worker shortage coupled with a higher demand for products. There has been r, according to the South Carolina Ports Authority, and the less workers means not enough people to unload cargo ships or drive truck to get it from one place to the other.

“There are really on average about 16 available truckload shipments for every available truck to move product out of (ports),” Bob Biesterfeld, the CEO of shipping logistics company C.H. Robinson, told CBS News.

“The South Carolina Ports Authority did not know what to expect going into the pandemic so we did not hire last year,” explained Kelsi Brewer with SC Ports.

Now, there are currently about 150 jobs openings at SC Ports to help with the delays. “A lot of the hiring that we are doing is in operation. That’s the cargo handlers, the crane operators, everyone that moves the cargo to and from ships or in the yard. That’s a lot of the positions that we’re hiring for at the port,” said Brewer.

In the mean time, experts are putting out warnings to seriously consider buying some of your gifts now, as they may take a very, very long time to get to you.

“Order your Christmas presents now, because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,” said Scott Price, the international president of shipping giant UPS.

Do you plan to start holiday shopping this soon? What are some of the hottest ticket items on your list to buy for family and friends?