MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A summer ago, consumer fireworks sales exploded when the pandemic canceled many public 4th of July celebrations. But this year, shipping issues have sellers worried supplies will fizzle out.
It is a problem being seen nationwide because of pandemic-related supply chain problems. A shortage of shipping containers in China is slowing down fireworks deliveries from that country. There are additional delays in the U.S. getting products unloaded and then put on trucks.
Fireworks have been in high demand since last year when more people celebrated at home.
At Pyro City Fireworks in Missouri, manager Donna Nuccio said this past year customers were buying not just for the 4th of July, but also for New Year’s, the Super Bowl and even Halloween.
“It was just unreal. If there was a reason to buy fireworks, they found a reason to do it,” Nuccio said.
At Dapkus Fireworks in Connecticut, co-owner Mike Dapkus said they purchased stock early, and now they are hearing from other shops.
“We’re getting multiple calls from dealers throughout the United States, just mom and pop shops that sell fireworks, that are looking for fireworks, and I can’t sell them anything,” he said.
Cele Rasmussen is co-owner of Fireworks City in Wisconsin, and is having trouble keeping shelves stocked.
“Buy early, because stock is short,” he said. “I’d say we’re short by about 30 percent. ”
Rasmussen said customers should be prepared to pay more.
“There’s going to be an increase in prices, just because shipping has doubled since last year,” he said.
Shops nationwide are reporting price hikes from ten to thirty percent. The problem is expected to continue as ongoing manufacturing and supply delays could lead to another round of shortages next year.