Kickstart: How the supply chain may steal Christmas

Don’t worry about the Grinch stealing Christmas this year. According to a report from Bloomberg, toymakers say that shortages of shipping containers, congestion at ports and a lack of truck drivers are the real enemies for Christmas shoppers in 2021.”I’ve been doing this for 43 years and never seen it this bad,” Isaac Larian, founder and CEO of MGA Entertainment, one of the world’s largest toymakers and the owner of the Little Tikes brand, . “Everything that can go wrong is going wrong at the same time.”The issues are familiar to almost every manufacturer out there. The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down production at some toy production sites in Asia at different times while demand grew from parents looking for ways to keep kids occupied when schools were closed.Add to that the congestion at ports where toys made in Asia wait to be unloaded.Larian said he’s paying about $20,000 for each shipping container now, vs. $2,000 before the pandemic. Jay Foreman’s toy company, Basic Fun, has $8 million worth of finished goods such as Lite Brites and TinkerToys just waiting to be shipped. Basic Fun has been waiting six weeks for an opening to unload 600 shipping containers.”There will be a shortage of toys this fall,” Larian said. “It’s going to be a tough year for retailers.”And a tough year for parents trying to convince kids to put items on their Christmas list that are actually on store shelves. Recycling company MBA Polymers has launched a program aimed at getting kids involved in recycling at an early age.The California-based company’s United Kingdom business unit had its first “” at St. John’s Academy in Worksop, England.The primary school hosted the event as part of its annual science week.MBA representatives arranged a day of activities, experiments and education, our sister paper Sustainable Plastics writes.In addition, MBA presented St John’s Academy with recycling bins, allowing teachers and students to immediately put their recycling lessons into practice. Michelin’s polyurethane airless tire — the Tweel — may be seeing some military service in the future.The U.S. Army spent part of the summer at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.The Tweel was first introduced as a concept more than 15 years ago and has mostly found customers in the lawn care and earth moving industries. The Army is interested because the combination of wheel and tire (which gives the product its name) may be able to withstand tropical conditions better even than a run-flat tire.”One reason for this technology is to reduce weight … so you don’t have to carry a spare tire, jacks or materials to fix a puncture,” said Carlos Mora, Trax International Tropical Regions Test Center officer, in a news release.The Army even took a drill bit to the Tweel to see how it would perform even if damaged by bullets. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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