-The Omicron mutation of the coronavirus
-The labor shortage and the great resignation
-Supply chain issues with crazy demand
-Worldwide shortage of Fertilizer
-Not enough Santa’s for this year’s Christmas
And now to the stories
1.New strain of Covid
It is too early to tell what the effects of this will be. We do know that any strain on airlines and flight regulation will only challenge the flower business more. Rates and service will face issues to the worldwide reaction to this South African strain.
Here is a current quote from USA Today article about Omicron
Just as travel approaches normal, omicron could fuel bans
Air travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels, the United States just reopened to international tourists, and summer vacations to Europe were expected to soar in 2022. Then, in recent days, the emergence of the omicron variant instantly sparked restrictions on travel in some nations. The United States, which lifted a pandemic-long travel ban from dozens of international countries including South Africa on Nov. 8, on Monday will re-institute the ban for foreign nationals from eight African countries.
The CDC issued a level 4 advisory, its highest, because of “very high” COVID levels, which carries an “avoid travel” designation. The State Department, whose COVID advisories generally parallel the CDC’s, also raised the countries to level 4, which means “do not travel.”
2. Labor Issues Galore
We still see most Floral and Logistic companies looking for employees. Wages and benefits are increasing. Quality people are in high demand. Retention is key. Some estimates indicate that the labor market is short 5 million people. Much of this is do to Covid retirement. A big problem in the floral sector is when companies especially in peak periods ask people to do more causing some burnout as well as attrition.
Here are some statistics from a study done by Fortune magazine.
“The tight labor is no joke: CEOs say it’s going to disrupt their business in 2022. Among the CEOs we surveyed, nearly 3 in 4 rated the labor/skills shortage as their top external issue to disrupt their business in the next 12 months.”
3-4. Inflation and Supply chain issues with crazy demand
Inflation is now part of everyday discussions. It is getting harder to quote future prices. Fuel and labor are increasing, and freight is at all time highs for many reasons. Even with increased selling prices demand has not let up. We are in a wonky and crazy time. Even boxes are in short supply.
Most Market Analysts expect costs to continue rising at least through the third quarter of 2022.
Please click on an article about the reasons behind the container crisis.
This is from CFI Perishables a Kuehne+Nagel company
5. Fertilizer shortage
With a shortage of fertilizer yields of flowers and food could drop causing more issues.
Here is a link to an article about this shortage from Justthenews.com
6.Shortage of Santa’s
There are not enough Santa’s this year to go around
From USA Today
You better watch out, you better not cry, and you better not pout, because Santa may not be coming to town
If you were hoping to have your kids take a picture with Santa this year, you may have trouble doing so amid a Santa shortage.
Even Santa is suffering supply chain problems. Visits with kids may not happen this year
He may be checking his list and checking it twice, finding out who is naughty or nice, but Santa Claus might not be coming to town this year amid a nationwide shortage of the Christmas icon.
Last year, Santas throughout the country were losing gigs as it was the first holiday season of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Santa visits were mostly held online. But with vaccines now available and national COVID-19 rates much lower than last holiday season, many people are wanting to go back to the traditional visits with Santa. Except this year, Santa’s are much harder to come by.
“Everyone is wanting to go back to traditions,” Mitch Allen, founder of HireSanta.com, which has a nationwide database of thousands of Santa Clauses that can be booked for events, told USA TODAY. “Our demand is up over 120% from pre-pandemic levels.”
Allen described people feeling “pent up” about wanting to go all-out for Christmas this year to make up for last year, so shopping malls, companies and even families are trying to get Santa to show up. But there is concern about going back to those old traditions.
Allen said over the past year, around 700 Santa’s passed away, but around 300-500 of them were due to COVID-19. Santa’s are typically older, which can place them at higher risk of dealing with severe complications of the virus. That may also be why some don’t want to don the iconic red suit out in public and interact with hundreds of people at once.
Sales continue to be strong even with all the issues on the table. Let’s hope we go into next year with fewer curveballs and business continues to be strong and profitable.
Thanks and Happy Holidays,