JEFF CAPLAN

My Minute of News: Start your Christmas shopping now. We’re serious.

Sep 21, 2021, 10:47 AM
christmas shopping affected by shortage of shipping containers supply chain problem...
An aerial photo taken on September 4, 2021 shows an ocean shipping ship loading containers at a container terminal in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu Province, China. A worldwide shortage of shipping containers is just one reason analysts expect big delays for Christmas shopping deliveries in 2021. (Photo: Wang Chun / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
(Photo: Wang Chun / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

Every year we complain the Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier in the stores, but this year, you definitely need to plan ahead to do your Christmas shopping. 

We know, we know. It’s not even Halloween yet and you probably don’t even have your kids’ costumes sorted out. But seriously, even before the garland goes up at Walmart, you need to ask the kids what they want for Christmas.

Right now. 

No messing around. 

I know the kids will respond with a blank stare. But trust me, and keep hammering away until you get an answer. Because if you wait, these ‘global supply chain problems’ you keep hearing about are going to derail your Christmas shopping plans and leave you with nothing under the tree but tinsel. 

Related: Christmas costs will reflect shipping and supply chain problems in 2021

Gone are the days when you can order it on Amazon and expect a box on your porch tomorrow. Half of everything is stuck on a slow boat from China. The rest? Well, huge diesel ships are just sitting out there in the ocean, their international crewmates playing cards all day, as they sit for weeks on the open water waiting to unload. 

And by the way, the cost of shipping is out of this world. The cost to send one of those big shipping containers across the sea went from $3,000 to more than $22,000. 

And there’s a shipping container shortage. Because of course there is. It’s so dire, Walmart is chartering their own ships in anticipation of the Christmas shopping season. 

You think I’m kidding? Google it. Walmart already has its own Sea Shanty

Hopefully, your Christmas gifts will arrive from China in a timely fashion aboard the SS Walmart.

But do the Christmas shopping now.

We’re in uncharted waters. 

Jeff Caplan

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My Minute of News: Start your Christmas shopping now. We’re serious.