Clogged shipping ports, rising prices and labor shortages are all being felt on a local level across New Jersey.
Small main street businesses now face increased costs and lengthy delays.
“Things that should have been here in May and June did not come in until August,” says Kathy Domalewski, who manages the B&B Department Store in Seaside Park. “We are telling customers if you see it and you like it and you want it as a Christmas gift, please buy it now because it may not be here next week and the shipments may not be duplicated. Get it while we can.”
The global pandemic demand for overseas products led to a manufacturing boom. The problem is ships now sit at ports. A labor shortage means the ships arrive faster than they can be offloaded.
“Surfboards, the lead time on them I’ve never seen this in my entire life,” says Kyle Murray.
Murray of the surf-centric Brave New World shop in Point Pleasant Beach can only wait for additional merchandise to arrive months late. This is his message to shoppers.
“If you see it, buy it,” says Murray. “Get it early because there’s no guarantee it’s going to be there.”
Some local businesses now look to more domestic suppliers to fill their orders, but even then, there’s still a national labor shortage slowing the supply chain.
The owners of the stores tell News 12 they still have plenty of merchandise on their shelves because they saw signs of the delays coming months ago and did what they could to prepare for the long term.