The holiday season is upon us! You know what that means: costumes, candy, big meals, family gatherings, and many new memories made. It also means gifts of all kinds for everyone! 

Unfortunately, the options for gifts may be a little more sparse this year.  As you may have heard in the news, there are major disruptions in the supply chain. Several factors are making it difficult for businesses to keep the shelves stocked, one of which is a bottleneck at the major seaports in California. Cargo ships from Asia and other places are arriving faster than they can be unloaded. As of last week, the port at Long Beach had a hundred cargo ships sitting offshore waiting to be unloaded. Even when a cargo ship is finally unloaded, there are even more delays. Cargo that is unloaded cannot be sent away quick enough either by rail or truck, due to a lack of capacity by the rail lines and the trucking companies.

On top of all that, the ability of the railroads and trucking companies to expand capacity is limited because of the national labor shortage (or at least a lack of people willing to work). As a result, companies across all industries are having extreme difficulties not just getting products to stock the shelves, but also finding people that are willing to stock those shelves.  One product type in particular that will be difficult to find is children's toys. Mattel has reported that supply disruptions from its sources in Asia will create a shortage of their most popular brands such as Fisher-Price and Hot Wheels, and will cause prices to spike. Many other toy companies that have their products made in China and other places in Asia will face similar situations. As a result, toy companies will be focused on producing their top selling toys, limiting the options even further. Check out the LegalZoom article at the end of this blog for more information on this.

While we can't control what goes on in the world or what others do, we can individually find solutions to work around the problems we face. In this case, a couple of solutions that I can think of are to buy local/handmade items and/or make the gifts yourself. Over the past few decades, more and more of the toys that we give to our children are being imported from overseas. Not only that, but pretty much everything else as well, which has made the country as a whole heavily reliant on cargo ships to bring essential goods to market here at home. This reliance has led to the shortages that we now face in stores across the country. Plus, let's be honest, even when there were no shortages, the overall quality of the products we received were not that good.

Therefore, JPD Wood Products will be focusing more of its production capacity on building children's toys for the holiday season. We currently have a couple options to order online now, but we will have more options very soon. As usual, our children's toys will be handmade out of solid wood and will be built to last. We plan to have our Christmas decorations available to order soon, as well!

Don't allow the supply chain crisis to ruin your holiday season. Spread more holiday cheer this year by buying local!

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