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The Shipping and Supply Chain Crisis Of 2021 Explained

Have you placed an order over the last few months that has been delayed and taken weeks to arrive? All industries have been experiencing inventory shortages and shipping delays, but why? We are going to review and explain what is happening and how it could affect you.

What is the shipping crisis?

After the world was shut down for the better part of a year, consumer demand has now skyrocketed. Consumers have saved up and are ready to spend, which is great for the economy, but industries are struggling to meet demand and packages are taking weeks to arrive. This is happening on a global scale partly due to a shortage of accessible shipping containers.

Why is there a shipping container shortage?

Shipping containers are loaded onto massive ships carrying hundreds of containers containing various items or essential raw materials, that help to construct the items, for which you shop. Unfortunately, many of those shipping containers are not accessible or readily available for use. This is because during the early days of the pandemic they were shipped to ports worldwide, full of personal protective equipment and other goods that were needed to get through the pandemic, and unfortunately, were never sent back to their port of origin. Now these containers are sitting at low traffic ports with no set plan to have them shipped back to the high traffic/exporting ports where empty containers are desperately needed.

Port and Warehouse Worker Shortages

Adding an additional layer of complexity to the crisis, during the height of the pandemic, ports and warehouses had to cut down on staffing due to health related guidelines. This meant longer wait times to fill the containers. After months of those restrictions, and with them only recently being lifted, ports and warehouses have not been able to catch up and are still not fully staffed. Due to these staffing restrictions, ports became congested. Now, ships that arrive with empty containers ready to be loaded with product, are waiting weeks at a time to be filled due to these worker shortages, which is compounded by and adding to the existent congestion. What used to take around 60 days, in terms of turnaround, is now taking 100 days. All of this dominos into additional delays with package transfers to freight and rail delivery methods, leading to the unprecedented wait times you may be experiencing with any given shipment.

When Will It Improve?

It is difficult to put an exact time stamp on when these delays will begin to improve, but as restrictions lift and we return to "normal", these issues should self-correct with time. To prevent runaway inflation and continued suppression of supply, it is important to buy only what you need and to avoid purchasing with a scarcity mindset. That will help decrease demand across the economy which will help us to get back to the wait times we expect. We also recommend planning ahead when you can.

How does this affect shopping and ordering with Air Sanctuary?

The timing we provide on our product pages for our backordered items are estimates based on the information we receive from the warehouses and manufacturers with whom we partner. These estimates are subject to change due to the current crisis explained above. We ask for your flexibility, understanding, and patience as we navigate this unprecedented time.

Please reach out to us with any questions you may have by emailing us at or calling/texting us at 844-247-7262.

comment 2 comments

Air Sanctuary calendar_today

Thank you, Don. We appreciate your support of our small business.

Don McClain calendar_today

Thank you for the great write up on the shipping situation. You are not alone in the delay’s. Thank you for working hard to get our orders out as quickly as you can.

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