Container scarcity is latest supply chain challenge
Despite surging demand for home furnishings since last summer, it’s no secret that supply chain problems have plagued the industry and led to increased lead times. There have been fabric shortages, foam shortages, lumber shortages – you name it shortages.
But in many instances, factories simply couldn’t ramp up production fast enough to meet the demand, as most were shut down for several weeks in March and April amidst coronavirus lockdowns. Even a non-operations guy like me understands that production can’t go from 0 percent capacity to 100 percent capacity instantly.
But now that most factories are humming again, another shortage has reared its ugly head: there aren’t enough ocean shipping containers to move the merchandise to U.S. ports from the Asian factories where much of our furniture is built.
That’s obviously a major headache for importers such as Zuo, not to mention large retailers who get a lot of container-direct shipments.