Vacation purchasing in October: Why provide chain specialists say you might want to store now, not later

A cargo ship stuffed with containers waits to be unloaded on the Port of Los Angeles on Oct. 6, 2021. The port is presently dealing with a report backlog of ships.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP through Getty Photographs

Yearly, Black Friday marks the kickoff to the vacation purchasing season. However if you’d like a contented and present-filled Christmas or Hannukah vacation in 2021, you will need to begin purchasing now, in October.

Quite a few elements are coming collectively to complicate present giving this yr, particularly for these vulnerable to procrastination. Clogged ports, a careworn trucking business, labor shortages, greater demand and better delivery prices are all impacting shipments of toys, electronics, attire and extra. The provision chain points usually are not solely impacting imports from China, the place a lot of this yr’s hottest toys are made, but additionally shipments inside the US.

“Main retailers expect a robust vacation purchasing season, however have warned of restricted inventories, longer delivery occasions, labor shortages and fewer reductions,” Morgan Stanley economists lately informed buyers.

U.S. ports are struggling to maintain up with imports

One main ache level within the provide chain is the backlog at U.S. ports. Late final month, CBS Information reported that the Port of Los Angeles, which handles 40% of U.S. imports, is dealing with a report backlog.

“The American shopper’s shopping for power is so robust and epic that we will not take in all this cargo into the home provide chain,” says Gene Seroka, director of the Port of Los Angeles.

East Coast ports are seeing report quantity as nicely. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lately reported that it moved extra cargo in August 2021 than in every other August on report.

There are many home delivery delays, too

waiting at the post office
The fee to ship packages through the publish workplace elevated on Oct. 3, when the USPS started instituting peak-season pricing. The transfer briefly will increase the associated fee to ship packages between $0.75 and $5, relying on measurement and vacation spot, by way of Dec. 26, 2021.

Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Instances through Getty Photographs

After all, unloading cargo from ships is simply step one in getting this yr’s hottest toys, attire and extra from Asia to retailer cabinets. Shipments should be placed on vehicles, as nicely. And there simply aren’t sufficient vehicles to get the whole lot the place it must go with out massive delays.

“There are actually on common about 16 accessible truckload shipments for each accessible truck to maneuver product out of (ports),” Bob Biesterfeld, the CEO of delivery logistics firm C.H. Robinson, informed CBS Information.

Scott Value, the worldwide president of delivery large UPS, says he’s half-jokingly warning folks to “order your Christmas presents now, as a result of in any other case on Christmas day, there could be an image of one thing that is not coming till February or March.” And the US Postal Service is bracing for elevated vacation delivery volumes by elevating charges and slowing the supply of top notch mail, efficient October 1. (Ship these vacation playing cards early this yr, too!)

Here is the right way to keep away from the vacation delivery crunch

The nation’s provide chain is careworn, however you should not be. There are many nice pre-Black Friday gross sales at Amazon, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and different retailers on proper now, providing widespread electronics, kitchenware, attire and extra at deep reductions. Listed below are among the greatest Pre-Black Friday offers accessible now, as curated by the CBS Necessities crew.

Walmart pre-Black Friday offers

Walmart has tons of tech, make-up, residence items and extra decreased proper now.

Hamilton Beach 2 lb Digital Bread Maker, Model# 29881


Hamilton Seaside digital bread maker, $50 (often $70) 

Keurig K-Duo Essentials Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker


Keurig Ok-Duo Necessities single-serve and carafe espresso maker, $79 (often $99)

Greatest Purchase pre-Black Friday offers

Greatest Purchase has TVs, laptops, video video games and extra tech on sale. 

ASUS Chromebook

Greatest Purchase

ASUS 11.6″ Chromebook, 4GB reminiscence, 32GB storage, $119 (decreased from $219)

Ulta pre-Black Friday offers

Discover make-up, skincare, fragrances and extra decreased at Ulta.



Prince U Obtained the Look vegan eyeshadow palette, $28 (often $55)

Anastasia Beverly Hills  Natural and Polished Starter Kit


Anastasia Pure & Polished Starter Package, $17 (often $24)

Amazon pre-Black Friday offers

Amazon’s pre-Black Friday sale, that includes what the corporate is looking “epic offers,” is on now. It can save you massive on Alexa-powered gadgets, toys, attire, kitchenware, magnificence and rather more. Here is a sampling of what is on sale.

Echo Show 8


Echo Present 8, $70 (decreased from $110)

Instant Omni Pro 14-in-1


Prompt Omni Professional 14-in-1 air fryer and convection oven, $250 (decreased from $300)

Melissa & Doug Mine to Love Wooden Play Bunk Bed for Dolls


Melissa & Doug Mine to Love wood play bunk mattress for dolls, $40 (decreased from $54)

Love, Diana Sing Along Popstar Doll


Love, Diana Sing-Alongside Popstar 13-inch doll and dealing microphone, $30 (decreased from $35)

Nordstrom pre-Black Friday offers

Nordstrom has markdowns on males’s, ladies’s and youngsters’s style, residence and extra.

Disney x Casetify insulated stainless-steel water bottle

Disney x Casetify insulated water bottle


Hold thirst at bay with this Disney x Casetify insulated water bottle (26 oz.) that includes a retro design of Minnie Mouse or the entire Mickey Mouse gang.

Disney x Casetify insulated stainless-steel water bottle, $29

Nordstrom Snuggle Plush Faux Fur Slipper


Nordstrom Snuggle Plush fake fur slipper, $15 (decreased from $29)

GameStop pre-Black Friday offers

GameStop has offers on video video games, gaming equipment, motion figures and extra. 

The Last of Us, Part 2


The Final of Us, Half II for PlayStation 4, $26 (decreased from $40)

Wayfair pre-Black Friday offers

Discover furnishings, small kitchen home equipment, bedding and extra decreased at Wayfair.

The Magic Bullet Countertop Blender


The Magic Bullet countertop blender, $40 (decreased from $57)

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