“Christmas is not cancelled,” says renowned shipping expert

A renowned shipping expert has told consumers that “Christmas is not cancelled" and that the amount of choice in stores shall still be plentiful - despite the highly reported issues with global port congestion.

“Christmas is not cancelled,” says renowned shipping expert
Photo: Wallpaper Flare

Shipping expert Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime (formerly SeaIntelligence Consulting), made the aforementioned comments in a LinkedIn post earlier today, in which he provided his reaction to the current supply chain disruption, as well as the media coverage it has received.

Jensen said that the recent shipping difficulties appear to have given rise to “overblown press headlines” that have sparked concerns of a “disastrous upcoming holiday season plagued by empty shelves”.

The shipping expert added:

“We almost appear to be heading into a state similar to Eastern Europe during the cold war with massive lines outside stores to get the bare essentials if we are to believe the headlines.”

Given talk of such doomsday scenarios, Jensen believes some perspective may come in handy. As he has pointed out, there is plenty of cargo still being moved around:

“Globally 15.2 million TEU were shipped in August. This is 620,000 TEU more than august 2019 before the pandemic. In N.America 2.9 million TEU were imported in August, up 340,000 compared to 2019. In Europe imports were also 2.9 million TEU, up 50,000 compared to 2019. There is thus no shortage of cargo being moved around.”

Consumers are nonetheless keen to know if there will be empty shelves as a result of the current difficulties.

In Jensen’s opinion, the answer to this question depends on one’s perspective. The shipping expert believes that most shoppers will be content with the choice available to them this Christmas:

“Imagine you want to buy shoes as a Christmas present. You go to the store and suddenly 10% of the shelves are empty. This sounds like confirmation of the headline-grabbing story of widespread shortages. However, reality is that under normal circumstances you might be able to choose between 1000 different types of shoes (to pick a random number). Due to the supply chain crunch there might now “only” be 900 different types of shoes available. Hence 10% of the shelves are empty. But does this mean there is a shortage of shoes? Well, if that one specific type you absolutely wanted is out of stock then to you it appears as a catastrophic shortage. But if you just want a functioning pair of shoes there is still plenty to choose from.”

Rounding off his post, Jensen concluded:

“In other words, if you are very particular in the type of product you absolutely want to buy you might be out of luck and have to wait a little longer for your product. But if you are less particular there will be plenty of products available to buy for Christmas.”

Photo: Wallpaper Flare

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