Shipping Delays Plaguing The Toy Industry

by Jay Cochran
March 08, 2021
If you have been waiting for your latest pre-order to arrive that is past due or not finding the latest action figures to hit your favorite stores, well you are not alone. This of course is a growing problem that effect far more things than our little hobby, but for the sake of this article we will be focusing primarily on action figure delays.

The NYTimes recently published and article that goes into great detail about what's been going on. They explain that due to the Pandemic ships that bring the goods we buy which are made overseas are not able to get to the ports here in the United States. This of course includes things like action figures from pretty much every toy manufacturer out there.

Off the coast of Los Angeles, more than two dozen container ships filled with exercise bikes, electronics and other highly sought imports have been idling for as long as two weeks.

The article doesn't specifically mention action figures, but you can bet those things are sitting out there to. If you've ever wondered why people who live in California are often the first to find anything new on shelves, well it's because they live closest to those ports where most of the stuff comes into the country from.

There are a number of factors causing these back ups. As people have been stuck at home, they are shopping more online and buying more things than usual. This in turn causes a need of more things to be shipped from overseas to here. More stuff means more ships going back in fourth. More ships out on the ocean then causes the shipping lanes to be more crowded just like your local highway gets at rush hour time.

Things are off-loaded slower as well because of COVID restrictions. This in turn cause things to get to the warehouses more slowly which often causes backups there. Finally all this then causes more strain as more and more trucks are needed to get all this stuff from the warehouses to the stores. Take that and then include a shortage of employees at all these places. As more and more people have come down with COVID, those people who work at these places then have to quarantine or worse for longer periods of time.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lars Mikael Jensen, head of Global Ocean Network at A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company. “All the links in the supply chain are stretched. The ships, the trucks, the warehouses.”

Honestly though I don't think any of this is to surprising for most of us, even if it is sometimes very frustrating. It's been pretty much known since this pandemic started a year ago that delays would be coming. Never-the-less just know your stuff is out there and will eventually make it's way to you. While you may be frustrated as you wait for your stuff to arrive, just remember the people who work at the toy companies are pretty frustrated as well as they frantically try getting their products to you while having very little control in being able to do anything about it.
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