The National Retail Federation has asked to meet with President Biden and other top administration officials regarding the challenges retailers face from continued supply chain disruptions arising from congestion at U.S. ports.
The letter from NRF President Matthew Shay stated, “The supply chain disruption issues, especially the congestion affecting our key maritime ports, are causing significant challenges for America’s retailers.”
He added, “The congestion issues have not only added days and weeks to our supply chains but have led to inventory shortages impacting our ability to serve our customers. In addition, these delays have added significant transportation and warehousing costs for retailers.”
As the nation’s largest private-sector employer, retailers depend on U.S. ports and other transportation infrastructure to help them deliver billions of dollars’ worth of goods and products to consumers every day.
In June, NRF revised its annual retail sales forecast to grow between 10.5% and 13.5% to more than $4.44 trillion in 2021 because the economic recovery is accelerating (AA, 7-1-21, P. 5).
Although consumer demand continues to grow, evidenced by imports during the busiest April on record at the largest U.S. retail container ports, the supply chain challenges remain significant. In a recent survey of NRF member companies about congestion, over 97% of retailers surveyed say they have been hurt by port and shipping delays.
“In many instances retailers will absorb these costs and not pass them along to consumers Shay said. “However, many smaller retailers may have no choice but to pass along these costs, especially as they face other challenges with reopening.”