Australians are being warned to start their Christmas shopping now as international freight delays, yard disputes and rising prices set off the ‘perfect storm’ that is ruining the holiday season.
The supply of international products has been hit hard by a lack of ships and an almost fourfold increase in container costs since last year, due to the global pandemic that is wreaking havoc in major ports around the world.
Residents across Australia, particularly Victoria, are urged to shop locally and early to avoid disappointment for the holiday ahead.
Australians are warned to start Christmas shopping now and shop locally due to supply chain issues causing delays worldwide
Industry groups estimate it’s only a matter of time before consumers feel rising prices, with hardware and wood high on the list of products rising in price or disappearing from shelves altogether.
In addition, a lack of truck drivers due to Covid-19 vaccine mandates will also put pressure on shipping products to consumers.
Peter Anderson, director of the Victorian Transport Association, said 10 percent of the workforce is unavailable for interstate deliveries because of the mandates.
“Victorians need to prepare for a short- and medium-term shortage of goods as we head into Christmas because of the massive supply chain disruptions we expect due to industrial action and labor shortages,” he told the Herald Sun.
Workers’ strikes in the Port of Melbourne, planned by the Maritime Union over wage disputes, are said to cause delays for at least a week in mid-October.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a factor causing shipping delays, rising container prices and a lack of ships (Christmas shoppers in Australia pictured)
The Maritime Union of Australia announced last week freight forwarder Patrick Terminals that hundreds of workers will go on strike.
With a container backlog at major ports in the Asia-Pacific regions and major US cities, Jamie Newlyn, Assistant National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, blames the freight operator for these disputes and the potential delays caused by them. causes.
Victorian director of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper, said consumers should brace themselves for delays and price hikes due to ship shortages and the price of some shipping containers rising 360 percent in a single year.
“Buy now for Christmas, don’t leave it until you usually do,” he insisted.
“And look locally – we’re going to be buying more online than we’ve ever considered and buying from local operators increases the chances of getting your items on time.”
Victorian director of the Australian Industry Group, Tim Piper, has urged residents to shop locally, especially when purchasing online (pictured) to avoid long delays
Paul Zahra, chief executive of the Australian Retailers Association, also urged consumers to start their Christmas as soon as possible due to the pressure on supply chains that is ‘causing the perfect storm for retailers and consumers’.
“Some distribution centers and warehouses have been hit by reduced staffing levels due to Covid cases, there are industrial disputes from deliverymen and dock workers, while state border controls and limited domestic flights are also affecting freight traffic,” he said.
Similarly, Australia Post’s acting CEO Rodney Boys noted that the company is already operating at Christmas-like levels due to lockdowns in parts of the country.
He said postmen and couriers deliver more than 10 million packages every week.
“This Christmas is sure to be the busiest we’ve ever seen,” Mr Boys told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It’s important for shoppers to think about their Christmas shopping now and send gifts early, especially if they’re posting abroad.”
Acting Head of Australia Post Rodney Boys said couriers and postmen (pictured) are already operating at a Christmas-like level with more than 10 million parcels being delivered to Australians every week
Alexi Boyd, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organizations Australia, said consumers and businesses alike should prepare, with the country learning from international supply chain crises.
Director of one of Australia’s leading freight specialists, Global Forwarding Enrica Centorame, said it is the worst she has seen in the global supply chain in 25 years.
She revealed that Australia is experiencing delays of up to six months in receiving a range of goods, largely due to Covid outbreaks in shipping ports and its impact on productivity and production.
Alexi Boyd, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organizations Australia, said consumers and businesses alike should be prepared for these delays and product unavailability
She also noted that Ever Given’s blockade of the Suez Canal in March is still causing delays as a result of the incident.
“There is no two ways left, the current situation is dire and the imbalance between supply and demand is expected to remain the same for the next 12 months,” she told News.com.au.
“I highly recommend that everyone plan ahead, not just for Christmas, but for any major purchases you plan to make in the coming year.”
Global Forwarding Director Enrica Centorame said the Ever Given container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal in March 2020 (pictured) is still causing delays as a result of the incident