Daily Trade News

Supply chain problems could limit what you can buy

A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

Amazon sellers who had hoped for an easier Prime Day after 2020’s pandemic-driven chaos aren’t likely to catch a break this year.

The company’s two-day discount bonanza kicks off on Monday. It’s coming as the retail industry is grappling with widespread supply chain issues that are making it more challenging to stock stores and distribution centers and keep up with consumer demand.

Several cascading issues are hitting businesses at once. The global supply chain is still feeling the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced many factories to shut down temporarily amid worsening outbreaks of the virus. Supply chains have been further disrupted by shortages of shipping containers and air freight capacity, along with materials like semiconductors and plastics. Labor shortages have caused major backlogs throughout the system.

A Covid-19 outbreak in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong has compounded the problem. Local officials have introduced restrictions, such as limits on vessel entry, to limit the spread of the virus. That means one of the world’s busiest ports, the Yantian International Container Terminal in Shenzen, has shrunk in available capacity.

Small- and medium-sized Amazon sellers who import their products from China are on edge as a result of global shipping snafus. Many businesses stocked up on as much inventory as they could months ahead of Prime Day.

‘I’ve not seen anything like this’

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