It will be harder for parents to find the most popular toys this holiday season because supply chain challenges are limiting imports from China.
Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs at The Toy Association, urged consumers to buy early because 85% of the toys that are shipped to the United States from Asia through southern California ports are experiencing continuing transportation problems.
“Get out and buy toys now,” Desmond said in September. “Right now, toy manufacturers are doing everything in their power to ensure a good supply in stores for the holidays, but we just don’t know what’s going to happen down the road as we get closer to Christmas.”
Although parents may not face empty store shelves, between now and Christmas, the most popular toys this year may sell out before Black Friday. “There’s no certainty that if your child or the children in America are looking for a particular toy, that it will be around,” Desmond warned.
Problems range from personnel shortages due to the Coronavirus pandemic to a lack of containers and chassis. Ports report a record number of container ships parked out in the ocean awaiting unloading.
One issue is that manufacturers of plastic toys in China, the U.S. and other countries are facing a resin shortage, with more than 60% of them reporting shortages of the vital material.
“A particular member of ours contacted me recently,” Desmond reported during a joint press conference he held in late September with southern California port executives. They make a number of plastic toys and products for kids — they can’t get resin anywhere. And that’s just one example of an American manufacturer.”