We all know that procrastination may come at its finest when buying gifts for the winter holidays, but this year that may not be possible.
The semiconductor (aka “chip”) shortages will be the most noticeable factor, since they are used in almost every piece of modern technology. Chips will be scarce this holiday because they are made from rare Earth elements that may only be mined in certain places, and there are simply not enough workers and transportation to produce the chips. From the newest gaming system, to the iPhone 13, to many other appliances, you should start buying chip-dependent gifts early. Many items are also on back-order and have been for months, so shopping early may be the only way to secure a gift for loved ones!
Many of the scarcities are stemming from labor shortages. Indirectly, labor shortages lead to transportation shortages, since you need workers to direct the transportation at ports and truck drivers to drive the goods to their final destinations. For example, there are not enough workers at docks to unload ships, so many ships are stuck at sea until they can dock, which may take weeks.
Even though wage increases are at the highest they have been since the 1990s, many employees are leaving their jobs to find higher pay. If one phase of the supply chain is disrupted, like port congestion due to labor shortages, the rest of the chain is interrupted.
Increase in demand for items rises during the holidays, but this year there is not enough supply to meet the demand. In conclusion, buying your presents early will guarantee there are gifts to everyone’s liking when the holidays arrive. So this winter, remember to buy gifts early!