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Arizona toy shop feeling strain of supply chain problems

By Susan Campbell

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    SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — Sometimes stacks of boxes show up at Kidstop. “We’re like kids on Christmas right now as we open the box, going, ‘Oh my gosh! We got the remote control car!'” said owner Kate Tanner. Other days, the shipments are much smaller than Tanner would like to see at her Scottsdale toy shop. “It’s very tough to track,” she told 3 On Your Side. “Our shipments are coming when they want to come.”

Because of supply chain challenges, Tanner ordered early and tried to stock up. Still, about 10% of the toys featured in Kidstop’s annual holiday catalog won’t make it to the store.

Ongoing supply chain problems mean delays for Arizona businesses “Bruder Trucks have just exploded. We can’t get them in,” Tanner said. “If you see a Jellycat you love, grab it.” Legos are in short supply, too. “I think those shelves after Thanksgiving will be pretty bare,” Tanner lamented.

Across the country, stores like Kidstop are waiting on shipments as problems persist throughout the global supply chain, the result of unprecedented consumer demand combined with the COVID-19 pandemic. Major pain points in the supply chain are the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. About 40% of the shipping containers that come into the U.S. pass through those ports, where there is gridlock. Ships are waiting to come in. There’s a shortage of trucks to move the freight when the ships dock. Tens of thousands of full and empty containers are sitting on the docks, taking up space.

Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, says there has been progress in moving more containers quicker from cargo ships onto trucks and trains. “We continue to deliver record amounts of cargo,” Seroka said. “Since Oct. 24, we’ve seen a 25% drop from about 95,000 containers to 71,000 in the number of import containers on our docks, and cargo sitting nine days or longer has dropped by 29%.”

The supply chain is messing with the squishy golden dumpling everyone wants Hundreds of miles away, Tanner says she can feel the progress sometimes. “A month ago, I was as nervous as you could be,” she said. “Today, there are so many boxes pouring in the door. You see when containers hit, when things start moving. You can hear in my sigh, I think we’re going to make it.”

But even that sigh of relief can’t mask the stress of this season that has been unlike any other. “What do I love most?” she said, repeating the question she had just been asked. “You’re going to make me tear up because it’s been that tough.”

“It’s the kids,” she ultimately said. It’s their joy and the excitement that accompanies every wish list that’s created in her store.

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