NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Toy stores are bracing for a tricky holiday season. Because of the bottlenecks at shipping ports, toy shipments may be seriously delayed.
Normally, a cargo ship can dock, unload and turn right around. That process is now taking days due to a lack of workers.
"Unfortunately, you've got to get those containers back to where they were... to ship stuff for Christmas," said Powell Phillips, who owns Phillips Toy Mart. "I'm operating on probably 30% less inventory."
Phillips said they started seeing delays earlier this year. He buys from companies with warehouses in the United States, however, many of those vendors outsource.
"Some of the big guys like Matell, for me, have a little more trouble shipping," Phillips said.
Despite the delays, Phillips believes consumer confidence is high. The toy store owner said that is why he spent more than $400,000 on back-ordered toys to hopefully get them on shelves for holiday shoppers.
"Our business has been through the roof," Phillips said.
For holiday shoppers, the advice is to start shopping for gifts earlier than ever.
"Shop early and then continue to shop if you can't find what you're looking for because again things come in on containers all the time, and then trucks hit all the time, so it's not like everything shows up at one time. It's going to be more stretched out this year," Phillips said.
Because some vendors are paying big money to expedite goods they're adding a shipping surcharge. Consumers may notice some stores have temporarily raised prices.