Don’t Set Your Expectations High This Year, Santa Will Be Late With Your Gifts

Don’t Set Your Expectations High This Year, Santa Will Be Late With Your Gifts

Kylie Mayo, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Ship, ship, ship; lots of orders have been backed up and/or delayed due to too many cargo ships waiting to unload their cargos. What used to be delivered in two days has now been delayed and takes a week, or two, or longer. 

This problem started in mid 2020 after the consumer demand for online orders rose significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic throwing the whole world into quarantine. The fear of going out to buy necessities was not matching up to the risk of getting infected with the virus, thus expanding online orders. 

As more and more orders came in, more cargo needed to be shipped, and thus, more cargo needs to be delivered. 

Currently, there are close to 100 cargo ships waiting from Long Beach to Dana Point to unload their freight in Long Beach and Los Angeles ports.

Although it only takes one click of a button to make an online purchase, it takes time and goes through a big process in order for it to be delivered.  

First, the products come from the factory they originated from; where they are also packaged and boxed onto pallets that go inside containers. However, there are a couple of problems since the factories are understaffed and containers have also been in short supply. 

There have not been enough containers to meet the demand of goods being shipped out due to vessels sailing out empty and early because they were needed for other shipments and could not wait to have the empty containers reloaded. 

When all products are finished being put into containers, they are ready to be loaded on vessels. Vessels have been overbooked lately and it can take up to months to find a space in the schedule. 

Once a vessel has been loaded, it is off to sail across the Pacific Ocean. 

Arriving near the Port of Long Beach, there are about 50 vessels anchored as they wait to dock. 

Yet on the dock port, there are still ships waiting even after they are unloaded.

The unloaded containers usually are put on a chassis, a frame with wheels, to be hauled away by truckers to arrive at their destined warehouse. However many of them tend to stack up as they wait to be relocated. 

Pandemic orders were not the only thing slowing the supply chain down. It was also the lack of workers who got the chain moving that caused the process to be even slower. 

The increasing amount of unfilled positions means that there is no one available to unload the cargo that is constantly piling up on docks. Some ships don’t even have the chance to unload and are forced to sit on the coast for weeks.

Local Target shopper Suzette Gonzalez, 37, is almost done buying presents for everyone.

“I heard about the shipping delays and decided to start shopping early since I had to shop for a big family,” said Gonzalez.

Having a family of six, including a husband, three daughters, and two sons, Gonzalez ordered her gifts in late October to make sure they had their presents under the tree on time for Christmas morning. 

She said, “The shipping delays have already caused much stress to some friends I have since they didn’t listen when I told them to shop early. They thought I was being paranoid about shopping so early.”

Orders will be delayed so do not count on those estimated dates you are given by company websites. 

Many of those items that would make for the ‘perfect gift’ may already be out of stock.

It has always been a good idea to start Christmas shopping earlier than later.

This year should be the year to finish shopping…