NEW YORK: With the pandemic grimly persisting, American homes could face a meager holiday season, forced to do without some of their favorite items missing from store shelves. Even as demand surges as the world’s largest economy reopens, US retailers are working hard to avoid putting a damper on festivities, taking unprecedented actions to try to navigate around myriad supply chain obstacles. The most dramatic steps have included moves by Walmart and other big box chains to charter their own ships and bypass messy delays at West Coast ports. Other workarounds have included bringing imports in earlier in the season, launching holiday promotions sooner and shifting to air cargo from ships. “A lot of companies have made the decision over the last 30 days that ‘we have to change modes,'” said Neel Jones Shah, global head of air freight at Flexport, a freight forwarding company. “They’re having to pivot to air or they’re going to miss their sale season all-together.” But even with these measures, Scott Case, a logistics industry veteran and founder of Chicago-based Position: Global, predicted “there are going to be noticeable gaps in what is available to people this holiday season.” Retailers are trying to plan for… Read full this story
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