Consumer experts recommend shopping early for the holidays this year

Massachusetts

(WWLP) – Consumer experts say consider buying what you need for the holidays early but avoid hoarding.

Catherine English of South Hadley loves shopping for her family for the holidays but this year she’s considering starting that shopping early.

“Probably in person and early,” said English. “I am just looking around the mall trying to get something I would like what my family might like.”

Experts say that may be a good idea. As we approach the holidays, many industries are still dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The nationwide labor shortage is causing the supply chain to not meet consumer demand, leading to goods and product shortages everywhere. That includes toys, canned goods, and even poultry products.

The marine traffic map shows the thousands of ships across the world. Experts we spoke with said this congestion is causing the supply chain to be backed up, affecting businesses all the way down to the consumer.

The lack of truck drivers to move the products is also impacting industries. The American Trucking Association reporting a shortage of 60,000 drivers at the end of 2018. The report is also predicting the shortage could jump over 160,000 by 2028.

“It started last year when there was a breakdown in COVID,” said Mark Teed of Raymond James Financial. “Everything started to slow down a little bit. There are not enough workers on the docks, there are not enough truck drivers to move the product, not enough people to unload the ships. There’s congestion everywhere ships out in the port waiting to come in soon as they come in there are not enough workers. It becomes a market failure.”

Teed adds while you should get to shopping buying more items than what you may need, or hoarding could lead to more problems with shortages.

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