Hardin: When A Global Shipping Container Shortage Challenges A Local Business

By LAURAL HARDIN
General Manager
Petree Garden Center & Florist

When you think of shopping local the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t that a world-wide shipping container shortage will affect your fall bulbs or Holiday gift shopping. But it certainly will.

At Petree Garden Center & Florist we source lines from artists and manufacturers here in the US and around the world. When there’s a shortage of workers to harvest bulbs in Holland or a port in China is closed for a few days or a massive freighter gets stuck in a canal, every part of the supply chain breaks down. Lack of containers, factory and warehouse closures, shipping delays, labor shortages and consumer demand have all put significant strain on an already fragile system.

When the system breaks down it’s less efficient and costs more. If you can even secure a shipping container the cost to ship it has gone up nearly 400 percent this year. That’s not including the higher cost of the products inside, just the freight to the States. Once a container reaches a US port the chain has more breakdowns. Offloading, delivery to the warehouse, repacking and securing a domestic truck to deliver it to your local shop are all slow, less efficient and more expensive.

For business this means much higher costs and lost sales. For consumers it means longer waits for products to arrive and less options that are more costly. With supply chain disruptions expected well into 2022, Petree Garden Center & Florist planned far in advance to secure inventory and keep prices low. We purchased over a year in advance for Fall and the 2021 holiday season. We are sourcing more items directly from makers to reduce as many links in the chain as possible and we’re getting items on shelves early.

We are encouraging customers to start shopping now! There will likely be shortages of some holiday items that are still in containers stuck in ports. But we’re giving customers a jumpstart in case selection gets slim later in the year. You’ll notice lots of new items in our store now for Fall and into the holiday season. We will have all of your favorites like amaryllis bulbs and wreaths and this year we’re offering pre-ordering so that customers who plan ahead can get everything they need.

For the customer who wants to stay in the loop and avoid missing out, we post all new arrivals on Facebook, Instagram and petreegardencenter.com.

We continue to offer unique gift ideas like our Flower Subscription Box and curated gift baskets to make it easy to shop in Los Alamos and save money! For folks planning on shopping online this year, you may want to reconsider. You’ll find better gifts, service and selection right here on the hill, from a local business who’s invested in our customers.

Lastly, we want to say THANK YOU to every customer who has been patient, understanding and who keeps coming back! This pandemic has challenged all of us in ways we never anticipated, but loyal customers who make it a point to come into our shop and support us have made every challenge worthwhile.

Happy Fall Los Alamos from Laural and Petree Garden Center & Florist.

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