Retailers Ordering Earlier, Much Earlier for 2022
Conversations with my contacts indicate that buyers are being told to expedite ordering. In some cases, retailers which would normally place orders in March 2022 are planning to place them in December 2021 or January 2022. The reason given is that they want to be early in the cue for order fulfillment in 2022.
Also, I am told that companies are planning price increases effective January, 1, but some companies are offering 2021 pricing on orders placed before the end of January.
Congestion Better but Still Slow
Congestion is better, but there are challenges domestically. Orders that have cleared through customs are now sitting in rail yards and staging areas. One company we spoke with stated that an order shipped from China in early October is sitting in a train yard. They do not expect delivery until mid-December.
Inventory in January: Good or Bad?
Some do not want inventory carryover into 2022. Others believe there will be a great number of gift cards out there due to out-of-stocks, and that consumers will be looking to use them in January. If you don't have inventory, you will lose out on demand in January. The jury is out.
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Non-Chinese, Asian Countries Are Showing Improved Export Capacity
Here is a quote from Bloomberg, "Asian Factories Show Strength Heading Into Omicron Headwinds:"
The upturn in production should help ease global supply-chain bottlenecks heading into 2022,” Oxford said. “But port logjams in the U.S. and Europe mean delays will remain significant, and we expect global freight rates to remain high into the first half of 2022.
Vietnam reached its highest since May
India posted the best reading since January
Malaysia rose for a fifth straight month
Thailand saw a slight decline but stayed in positive territory
Indonesia inched down, too, but expanded for a third month