It’s hard to buy Christmas gifts this year

It's hard to buy Christmas gifts this year

If the vaccine is born, the disease has been controlled in many places, everything will gradually return to normal. But no, right now, an extremely difficult holiday season is beginning to unfold in America.

It’s hard to buy Christmas gifts this year

Remember last Christmas , when the whole US was in the midst of an epidemic and blockade, vaccines were only given to frontline workers, most Americans were at home, did not go to work, received benefits, the demand … buying Christmas trees and decorations becomes imperative.

Instead of using resinous pine, people flock to nurseries, Home Depot supermarkets, Lowe’s and many roadside stalls to buy fresh pine.

The price of pine in previous years started at only about 30 USD, but last year it nearly doubled but still no sales. When you buy pine, you still have to worry about finding decorations because the pearls, colored lights, and wooden statues are all sold out early.

This year, the blockade orders greatly affected goods from China, Vietnam, India and many Asian countries exported to the West during the biggest shopping occasion of the year. Besides, there is the worry that the supply chain is broken.

According to Business Insider, Southern California legislators are considering declaring a state of emergency to save ports that are flooded with containers. In the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, more than 100 cargo ships are still waiting at sea for dismantling (compared to a record of 17 at the time before the epidemic).

Thousands of containers struggled for weeks without being discharged. America is short of nearly 80,000 truck drivers, an all-time record. In addition, parts of highways that are not repaired, railways lack maintenance workers, lack of containers and warehouses with inventory have prevented goods from reaching buyers in time.

On October 13, President Joe Biden announced an effort to undo supply chain bottlenecks. Accordingly, leaders of the Port of Los Angeles decided to double working hours, operating 24/7. Long Beach Port works overtime at night and on weekends. The two largest US shipping companies, Fedex and UPS, also promised to increase overnight shipping.

Big companies like Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco nonetheless have the resources to stay alive when there is a shortage of sales. Smaller Christmas clothing stores like UglyChristmasSweater.com are sad because their goods are stuck in Long Beach and don’t know when to arrive.

Companies selling children’s toys are sitting on fire because they don’t know where their goods are, while the day they need to be released for sale is near. Then fashion brands like H&M, Zara, Abercrombie or Gap are also afraid of not having enough stock.

Everything goes up in price

Stewart, a 21-year-old businessman in the industry, lamented that he had witnessed many difficulties from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2008-2009 economic crisis, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that affected the world, But this time the situation lasted longer and was much worse.

After the epidemic, quite a lot of Americans would rather stay at home to receive subsidies than go to the company. Mothers with unvaccinated children still want their children to study online, so they cannot work. Many coffee shops and restaurants have to close because there are no employees.

The farm has no workers, millions of pigs may have to be destroyed because there are no people to slaughter. Thanksgiving is coming, I’m afraid there will be a shortage of both turkey and potato stew.

The day I went to Tennessee, I stopped at the Waffle House restaurant, which was crowded with customers, but there were only two employees, a waitress, and a chef because we couldn’t recruit people. The chef with a Southern accent said with a smile: “I have to go to work, but at home with my husband playing games all day, I’m going crazy.”

Going to a Vietnamese market, my favorite dishes like sugarcane juice, stewed corn, coffee… imported from Vietnam are always sold out. Holding 100 USD to go to the market now can’t buy much. Rice increased by 10 USD per bag. The cheapest fish sauce at 99 cents is now 3 USD. Once frozen durian was only 99 cents/lb (about 0.45kg), now the price has increased fivefold.

Confectionery, fruit, each increased a bit but it was too expensive. My sister now goes to the market to buy sweet potatoes, potatoes are sometimes more expensive than meat.

My rental company couldn’t afford a new refrigerator or stove despite the price increase and a half. Wall plaster pieces are nowhere to be found. Then the floor tiles, ceiling fans or even lime paint can’t be bought.

The biggest shopping days of the year are approaching. Every day, watching TV, reading the newspaper, I hear news about the broken supply chain. Experts warn that the congestion of goods will not go away anytime soon and will continue until 2022.

This Christmas season, I wanted to buy a Kymdan mattress for my sister, but the US branch stopped selling it last year. Contacted Ms. Ha, a friend in Vietnam who works in the shipping industry, she said that the day before, she sent a 40hq container (12m high, weighing nearly 4 tons) to San Jose (USA) for only about $2,000, but now the price increased 6 times but also no merit to send.

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