Empty shelves at IKEA.  Where do giant problems come from?

The German news channel quoted an entry from the German Ikea Facebook account: “It would be great if you could buy a 40cm deep billy again. We’ve been out of stock for weeks. Why?” – The customer asks Bianca and receives the following answer: “The last year of the pandemic has presented us with all the challenges we faced together with distance, caution and mutual support. However, this situation has also led to a loss of balance in the terms of the global supply of goods, which also has an impact on Ikea. By taking exceptional measures, we will do everything we can to ensure that your favorite products are available at the current low prices – both online and in our Ikea stores.”

NTV, speaking from Ikea’s head of logistics in Denmark, explains what the company means by “extraordinary measures”:

– We tried to create a railway from Asia to Europe so that we could use trains for transportation – says Peter Langskov at Euronews station. “We also tried to rent container ships and bought empty ships. But you also have to return them, and that’s a problem.”

As noted by NTV, Ikea is missing not only specific Bailey shelves. The popular shark item isn’t available either, notes customer Katja on Facebook — who is concerned that the product will be removed entirely from the show. But the Ikea team reassures her: “Due to the current difficult situation in the transport sector, for example in the UK, there has been a short supply of the popular pet Blahaj. Once the situation improves, the product will return to normal supply.”

Delays in loading and unloading container ships

Speaking of the situation in the transport sector, Ikea primarily refers to the shipment of goods that are transported from Asia to Europe. NTV stresses that even before the pandemic, shipping by ship was in crisis and cites prices as an example: sometimes only $50-$200 was paid for a container from Asia to South America. The station reports that thousands of dollars are now being paid to transport the container.

– Such strong fluctuations are unfavorable to business. Nobody needs them, explains Rolf Habin Jansen, president of logistics company Hapag-Lloyd for NTV. The company recently posted significant gains, driven by a significant increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic and, at the same time, poor transportation capacity.

Rates go up

While six ships are usually required to operate a line of communication from the Far East to the USA, there are currently eight to nine of them, the NTV website reads.

“Rates are going up, that’s the market,” Jansen says. The head of the shipping company also expressed particular concern about the delay in loading and unloading container ships at the terminals. It is inevitable, he pointed out, that the deletion of a port or another or even the entire voyage can be cancelled.

According to NTV, the German Ship Owners Association (VDR) is aware of the problem and cites Ralf Nagl, a member of the VDR board, who maintains that liner shipping companies are doing their best. “But when ports are crowded and containers are on their way to customers for longer, shortfalls occur.” NTV reports that just a few weeks ago there was a congestion off the coast of Los Angeles with huge ships. About 70 container ships had to wait for clearance.

However, shipping company president Habben Jansen hopes the situation will calm down after the Chinese New Year on February 1, 2022. Until then, Ikea customers will also have to come to terms with the fact that their ordered products are not. available yet.

Source: “DW”


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