CLEVELAND — As demand for furniture and appliances increased during the pandemic, unexpected delays for consumers began to surface.
"I've been in this industry for 30 years and I've seen a lot of different disruptions," said Mark Yeager, chief executive of Redwood Logistics. " But this is the most significant global disruption I’ve ever seen,"
Increased demand for products paired with supply chain issues has led to some of the delays.
Jason and Paul Cirino, brothers with The Cleveland Furniture Company, are among those in the furniture industry who have reported longer than expected delays due to the pandemic.
"If you want to design your own sectional, pick your fabric, it’s going to take time right now because the backlog with these companies is just huge," said Jason.
The average wait time for a special order item may take a few weeks, but the wait has since significantly increased to about 20 weeks during the pandemic.
Yeager said it's a reflection of the demand and supply chain issues.
"You’re seeing a great decline in exports out of the United States and Europe," said Yeager. "So for every three containers leaving Asia, there’s only one coming back in. This has created a significant supply shortage. Additionally, you’re seeing productivity through issues in the ports so this is creating a backlog of ships."
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Yeager said the problem could continue through the rest of the year.
"I think it’s going to remain a disrupted supply chain market for at least the remainder of the year," said Yeager. "It will probably get somewhat more normalized than it is right now but we won’t see full recovery in 2021."
So what can consumers do to avoid the long delays? The Cirino brothers recommend looking for items that are already in stock.
"Every [in stock] product I sold yesterday is getting delivered next week," said Jason.
If flexible, the Cirino brothers advise consumers to consider other options that may fit their style and comfort level. He said visiting a retailer can help determine which items are in stock and ready to ship.