Customers are being advised to « shop early for Christmas » due to shipping delays caused by Covid-19, the chaos of Brexit and the costs of stratospheric shipping containers.
Transport container prices from China – one of the world’s leading gaming markets – have soared in recent months.
Containers have historically been priced at around €1,100. But the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTA) reported that it is now around €30,000 each.
Toy store owners say They expected that demand would well outpace supply.
Ciaran Fitzpatrick, owner of Banba Toymaster, north of Dublin, said: “We’re going to miss some new (toy) lines because shipping time from China to the UK, where most of our goods come from, are experiencing significant delays. He has gone crazy.
“Most shopkeepers placed orders early but if I look for new orders in November, I probably won’t get them.
The problem is that the game could become a staple of the blue, having been shown on RTÉ. Late Late Game Show It’s late November, but there may be little chance of getting it. »
Inevitably as shipping container prices rise, the cost is likely to pass on to the consumer.
“Game prices are going to go up,” Fitzpatrick said. “Always, everything will go up.
Suppliers are trying to hold prices, but with shipping container prices skyrocketing, stores will have to charge more.
« It’s the last thing we want to do. Hopefully we can hold on for a while. »
Mr Fitzpatrick said his most popular toy would be Lego, but he had expected a number of Playmobil toys, including the Starship Enterprise, which retails at €460.40 in some online stores, to be a hit this Christmas.
« We hope that parents will stick to the advice available and buy important toys early, » he said.
Online sales at Banbatoys.ie are already starting to take off around Christmas.
and store Allow customers to pay in installments, keeping gifts if 25 pieces are paid in advance.
Apparently the region wasn’t just affected by the games, yesterday Marks & Spencer announced to customers that they « unfortunately » will not be able to serve Christmas food to customers in Ireland to order this festive season.
An M&S spokesperson said: “Brexit has already complicated and delayed shipping products to Ireland and there is a lot of risk that customers will be let down if we try to meet CFTO orders and they are delayed or not fulfilled. Customers will still be able to purchase everything they need for Christmas in Marks and Spencer’s dining halls. »
Aidan Flynn, Director General of FTA Ireland, said: “The cost of shipping containers has risen uncontrollably due to a lack of available vessels and shipping containers.
The cost of a shipping container can reach 30 thousand euros. The price has gone up maybe 20 times in eight months.”
However, while the rates led to « huge profits » for container shipping companies, « this was not passed on to the consumer, » Mr. Flynn said.
« And I can say that the prices are rising daily, » he added.
« We’re seeing ramifications in the supply chain from delays and what the consumer has to choose is now going to get more expensive. »
Flynn said that Covid-19, Brexit, a truck driver shortage and the Suez Canal crisis in March, when a ship got stuck in the waterway, created a « perfect storm » in the shipping supply chain.
« In March, the Suez Canal ship accident caused chaos and since then prices have gone up, » he said.
« That ship was not unloaded until after five months – caused delays within the system.
“Our expectation, as consumers, is that you get what you want, whenever you want but the products you used to get come from all over the world.
“The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain and when it does, it takes time to make up for it.
“The situation of the Suez Canal continues to affect us today.
« Ireland relies on contact between the European Union and Britain to provide anything from furniture to garden equipment or Christmas toys. »
Flynn also cited a lack of skills for commercial truck drivers, another reason for the supply chain slowdown.
“The skill shortage is really important,” Flynn said.
If (FTAAddress this with state-funded vocational training, which will be launched in January 2022.
“We are all starting to see how important it is for drivers to deliver the clothes on our backs and the food we eat,” he said.
Smyths Toys has already notified its customers to « shop early for Christmas » due to the global crisis.
Conor Brady, co-owner of Cogs The Brain in Stephen Green Shopping Centre, Dublin, and Cogsthebrainshop.ie are seeing delays in receiving in-store toy kitchen shipments.
« Eventually they come from China, it’s how the industry is organized, » Brady said.
“We’ve seen unbelievable delays in terms of delivery. Suppliers say they won’t have Christmas stuff… Some of our summer toys are just arriving now.” It’s frustrating but we have a good selection in store because we bought them so early. But we expect to miss some board games and educational games. We’ve done a lot of work finding alternatives. »
Brady said the store was « hit on the sidelines » due to the supply crunch.
“Unfortunately, it will be inevitable. We have to raise prices but compete on costs.
Sharon Keelthe, CEO of Jiminy.ie, a Dublin-based environmental gaming website, feels that her store will mostly be « isolated » from the crisis, as it does not buy most of its stock in China.
“We are remarkably different from the normal toy store,” said Ms. Kilthi, of Rahini.
“Our strategy is to have toys that are made in Europe and are free of plastic, which means we are cut off. However, toys made of recycled plastic or organic cotton are the only things that have been brought in from China. Our suppliers tell us that we should have ordered in August.
“However, our toy store is 93 pieces free of plastic, so we are protected. Perhaps after crises like this Ireland will start to see incentives to localize manufacturing.”
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