This summer is expected to be an action-packed one for many. More than 130,000,000 people in the U.S. are finally fully vaccinated, which means they can take off their masks and gather like they used to before the pandemic, per new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unfortunately, it's not all smooth sailing from here on out: A looming shortage of one essential item may threaten your vaccinated summer plans. Read on to find out which summer essential is disappearing from store shelves, and what you can do to stop it from ruining your holiday fun.
The U.S. is facing a fireworks shortage.
If you're looking to have fireworks for any summer celebrations like July 4, you might be disappointed. According to a statement posted by Brooklyn Fireworks on May 5, the fireworks industry is facing a "massive product shortage." In fact, the company says that more than 60 percent of the fireworks ordered by companies in the U.S. for 2021 will not actually arrive this year because of the shortage.
The shortage is the result of increased shipping costs.
According to Brooklyn Fireworks, shipping costs have increased by more than 100 percent over the last year, which has contributed to the looming fireworks shortage. The increased costs have come from freight surcharges of $1,000 to $5,000, and additional charges added by ports in China.
"Many distributors tried to wait until the freight prices were low again, creating a massive fireworks shortage that our industry has never seen before," the company explained. Other additional factors contributing to the shortage include the Suez Canal disruption, port closures in Canada, the pandemic's temporary shut down, and new restrictions for production at Chinese firework factories.
Be prepared for firework prices to also increase on your end.
Patrick Dillman, owner of 3D Fireworks in Kansas, told CBS affiliate KWCH that many of your favorite firework products will face a price increase due to the shortage. For instance, if you paid a dollar for something last year, it could be closer to $1.50 this year, he said. And Superior Fireworks has already announced they are increasing their prices by an average of 15 percent this year—which is the highest price hike the company has ever had in its 20-year history.
"There's just not near as much product here," Dillman said. "That is obviously going to cause pricing to go up."
Experts say you should go ahead and buy fireworks now to have them for July 4.
To make sure you secure fireworks for your Independence Day celebration, experts say you should go ahead and buy them now. "We say it every year, but this year it seems more important than ever—order early for best pricing and selection," Superior Fireworks said in their announcement. If you do wait until the last minute to buy your fireworks, "there is a very good chance there will be nothing left to buy, not even from our competitors," Brooklyn Fireworks warned.