Target chartered its own container ship to sidestep the global shipping crisis ahead of the holiday shopping season

·2 min read
Target Christmas Tree
Holiday decorations in a Target store. Kin T./Yelp
  • Target chartered its own cargo ship to transport merchandise to the US.

  • Supply chain issues are making it hard for retailers to be fully stocked before the holiday season.

  • Target is encouraging its customers to shop early ahead of the holidays this year with new deals.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Target chartered its own cargo ship to transport merchandise to the US ahead of its holiday shopping season.

Earlier this month, the retailer said the move was part of its preparation for the year-end surge, which also included ordering larger upfront quantities of items in and working with vendors to fast-track shipments to customers and work around "unprecedented supply chain challenges."

"As co-managers of the ship, we can avoid delays from additional stops and steer clear of particularly backed-up ports," Target said. 

On Wednesday, the retailer said it is encouraging customers to shop early, and announced deals and a new holiday price match guarantee to ensure customers get the gifts they need.

Other companies are also encouraging their customers to get into stores early this holiday season to offset the demand that is stunted by global shipping delays and supply chain issues. The ongoing labor shortage is also making it difficult for retailers to hire seasonal holiday workers, forcing many companies, like Target, to add bonuses and other incentives to retain the help they need.

Experts are recommending customers hit the stores early this year to get gifts while they're still on the shelves. To curtail the shortages, it is encouraged customers shop locally, purchase only domestic goods, and get a majority of their shopping done before Black Friday.

Related video: Elon Musk's brother opened shipping container farm in Brooklyn

Other large US retailers are also trying to sidestep shipping delays. Last month, Walmart announced during an earnings call it was chartering smaller ships in order to have the capacity to dock and unload at smaller ports where congestion is lower ahead of the holiday season. Costco, one of the largest wholesale retailers in the world, chartered three cargo ships to beat shipping delays and reduce costs over time. 

The costs of a cargo container have increased significantly since last year and increasing labor and material costs have created higher gift prices online and in stores. The pandemic broke the supply chain last year, and the shipping companies that move stuff all over the world still haven't recovered, Insider reported.

 

Expanded Coverage Module: Labor Shortage

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