(ZEROHEDGE) – With global container shipping rates hitting never before seen levels amid a historic global scramble to secure good and inventory, suppliers to Walmart, Target, Amazon.com and other major retailers told Reuters they are placing holiday orders for Chinese-made merchandise weeks much earlier this year, as a global shipping backlog threatens to leave many gift buyers empty-handed this Christmas shopping season.
Reuters surveyed nearly a dozen suppliers and retailers of everything from toys to computer equipment in the United States and Europe. All expect weeks-long delays in holiday inventory due to shipping bottlenecks, including a global container shortage and the recent COVID-related closure of the southern Chinese port of Yantian, which serves manufacturers near Shenzhen.
The risk for retailers is a rash of out-of-stock items just as shoppers are ready to open their wallets to splurge on toys, clothing and other merchandise.
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