Shipping Container Crisis Could Delay Holiday Toy Sales

Forbes | August 3, 2021

It’s the lament of U.S. toy manufacturers: All I want for Christmas is shipping containers. Prices for shipping containers increased by as much as 500% last month, according to The Toy Association. Toy makers say they are being charged $20,000 to $25,000 for 40-foot containers that previously would have cost $3,000 to $4,000.

“Even if you pay these crazy prices, there is a delay to get it to you,” said Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, which makes the L.O.L Surprise and Rainbow High fashion dolls, the Little Tikes outdoor toys, and other playthings. This year’s challenges are likely to be more disruptive, resulting in price increases, and shortages of popular toys, which will limit the ability of retailers to use toys as holiday loss leaders to draw shoppers.

MGA Entertainment is using its container space to prioritize shipments of its most popular items, and the toys likely to be holiday hits, rather than shipping lower-demand items. “We held back on a lot of things to make room for the hottest sellers that we have... We’re lucky that we have great products and great brands people want, but even with that, we’ve got to get the merchandise on the shelves,” he said.

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