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'Be understanding.' Retailers reminding shoppers of holiday shipping crunch amid delays

Posted at 8:33 AM, Nov 16, 2021

(WXYZ) — With Thanksgiving coming up next week, that means Christmas and the holidays are just around the corner.

The supply chain issues and shipping delays are causing headaches for retailers and consumers. Right now, there are shortages for everything from electronics like gaming consoles and smartphones, to a glass shortage impacting wineries and beermakers.

Discount chains like TJ Maxx and Burlington are seeing empty racks because the normal surplus they get from brands just isn't there.

Many people are already trying to get their shopping out of the way, and shoppers should expect a triple whammy when it comes to shopping and shipping with Black Friday coming up next week.

Related: Here are the holiday shipping deadlines for USPS, UPS and FedEx

Many big box stores like Target and Walmart and online retailers like Amazon are trying their best to keep up with low inventories, supply and demand

Brad Hoos owns a men's outdoor clothing start-up in metro Detroit called Muskox. They source materials close to home and internationally, but supply chain issues weren't on their radar when they started two years ago.

It's definitely something we've had to adapt to and grow with and continue to adjust, because it's a big problem," Hoos said.

Not only supply chain issues, but inflation as well.

"We've seen really log jams in the shipping industry and that's caused our shipping costs to go up a lot," he added.

The delays have changed the way he and his team get the product into the hands of the consumer in metro Detroit and around the globe.

FedEx, UPS, USPS and other shipping companies are telling customers to be prepared for a very busy shipping season.

To handle the influx, companies are bringing in more workers, drivers and package handlers.

In a statement, FedEx said in part, "FedEx continues to navigate operational challenges due to constrained labor markets, increased package volume and the ongoing pandemic. We are taking bold action in order to provide the best possible service to our customers."

Everyone is saying to shop as early as you can and not wait until the last minute.

"At the end of the day, the rubber is going to be hitting the road here in the next couple of weeks because as we know the holidays are upon us," Hoos said. "Shop early. Shop local. And do everything you can to be understanding."