Amazon says it's prepared for supply chain snarls as holidays loom

Key Points
  • Amazon said a combination of planes, trucks, ships, vans and well-staffed warehouses as well as inventory planning and added capacity at ports should prepare it for the holidays.
  • Amazon and other retailers are staring down a particularly challenging holiday season with supply-chain snarls and labor shortages, which experts say could lead to out-of-stock products and longer delivery times.

In this article

Amazon fulfillment center in Eastvale, California on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.
MediaNews Group | The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

Amazon on Monday reassured shoppers and industry watchers that it's well-prepared to avoid supply-chain challenges during the holiday season.

In a blog post, Amazon said a combination of planes, trucks, ships and delivery vans, along with staffed-up warehouses, has put it in a good position to "get customers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are this holiday season."

Retailers are entering what's poised to be a particularly challenging holiday shopping period, due to existing supply-chain woes, inflationary pressures and labor shortages. Several factors are behind the issues, including skyrocketing shipping container costs and container shortages, Covid-19 outbreaks at shipping ports, as well as a shortage of workers needed to unload containers and handle goods at warehouses.

Experts have warned that consumers could see more out-of-stock notices, longer delivery times and fewer deals as a result.

Many retailers nudged consumers to begin their holiday shopping early to avoid any snafus. Earlier this month, Amazon launched "Black Friday-worthy" deals to jump-start the holiday shopping season.

Amazon said it's invested more in inventory planning and partnerships with suppliers so it has enough goods on hand while making sure it can route items to where they're urgently needed.

It has also doubled its shipping container processing capacity by increasing ports of entry and partnered with more ocean freight carriers to secure space in "critical ports."

"Our teams have been hard at work for months, focusing on capacity and demand planning to balance our customers' needs against any supply chain or transportation challenges that may occur," John Felton, Amazon's senior vice president of global delivery services, wrote in the blog post. "While we are always investing in our supply chain and transportation network, we have done even more this year to ensure we don't let recent supply-chain constraints impact the Amazon experience for our customers."

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