Why Are Furniture Deliveries Taking So Long?

Why Are Furniture Deliveries Taking So Long?

Posted by JW on 14th Aug 2021

                      Furniture deliveries are being delayed

                      everywhere but there's an explanation.



                                   You will be waiting months for your deliveries


If you've ordered or are considering ordering furniture this year or last, you may have been aware that the

shipping supply chain for furniture has been noticeably reduced.  Just in time manufacturing was how the

industry was built and when Covid-19 pandemic came, it upset the supply chain globally.  


 Just in time refers to manufacturing components or parts quickly without the need of  a large inventory. Most

wood manufacturers have their product built overseas and with the catalyst of the Pandemic that swept the

world during 2020. 

Many people may not realize that for many countries where large amounts of furniture  or

parts are made, such as  China, Malaysia and Vietnam, the pandemic and resulting damage to both humanity

and the economy are still causing shutdowns.


Shutdowns, product shortages, and little inconveniences that most of us are not used to dealing with have had

an impact everywhere, from businesses to personal lives. During the lockdowns people started working from

home and with little mobility due to the virus, people ordered office and home furniture during that time

period. Most stores were closed and shopping online was the outlet. As stimulus was pumped into the

economy, and the recovery started  much of that was used to buy home furnishings, automobiles, RV's and the

like.

A perfect storm was brewing as lockdowns, Covid restrictions, manufacturing going off line and non essential

businesses being closed created a supply shortage with a huge demand.


Leather Shoppes has been in business for 33 years                     

and we have seen many different events over the years,

but nothing to this degree ever impacted the industry.


Lack Of Production During Shutdown


During the 2020 shutdown, countries all over the world,

including the USA, shut down their non-essential businesses

in order to try and contain the spread of Covid as much as

possible. The shutdown lasted around three months and even longer in some areas.

The initial shutdown led to a gap in production since most furniture manufacturing is a non-essential job

during a pandemic. Because of the manufacturing gap, no new furniture was made during the months that

companies were shut down and existing backlogs were delayed.

During the shutdown, many people who were spending more time in their homes began to realize that their

furniture was less-than-perfect.

Suddenly, the demand for new furniture began to skyrocket, and it wasn't long until much of the in-stock

furniture across the USA was snapped up by customers wanting better sofas, sectionals, and recliners, and

office furniture.


                                                                     Reduced Employees Workings and Socially Distancing 

                                    

                                                                                  After the shutdowns, businesses had to restructure work flow 

                                                                                        and wanted to limit exposure to the virus. With those      

                                                                                         changes in regulations  the number of people that

                                                                                            could  work  and if contracted caused a ripple effect

through the plants. When manufacturer started receiving

orders a few months after the initial outbreak, materials

were needed to produce product but there was very few raw

materials available . A lack of raw materials  meant that

other manufacturers could not make the necessary parts   

needed to make sofa cushions, or build

frames. Manufacturers need to source many of the items

needed to make furniture.

Fasteners, springs, frames, and many other parts require

parts to be sourced from various  companies, and  when those companies cannot provide the materials, no

furniture can  be made.


The Demand For New Furniture Has Only Increased


American built furniture is made one of two ways or a combination of with materials sourced

locally or from an overseas source and              

then assembled in the USA. 

Unfortunately, COVID19 can affect both methods

of manufacturing.

Furniture made overseas is placed in large

containers which have to ship from around

the world. These have to arrive in ports and then

 be transported to local warehouses to get to their 

ultimate  destination. The Pandemic

unfortunately, created a backup

in the  shipping industry too, which means that

furniture that is made overseas cannot make it to

global retailers until spots open up on the transport

vessels.

Lack of shipping space has only made the demand  for new furniture greater, and many customers are 

either eagerly waiting for the furniture they want to ship or hunting for any furniture in stock.

While the shortage of furniture due to shipping makes life a bit more difficult for all parties involved, the

furniture will still find its way to your home. Manufacturers, shipping companies, and retailers worldwide

are working tirelessly to sort through the back-logged furniture and get the product to the customers.


FOAM DELAYS


Just when materials started to flow back in the supply chain, a foam shortage occurred. 

This came in February 2021 when five US plants( 4 in Texas and 1 in Louisiana) that  produce a            

chemical in foam called propylene oxide. The

furniture industry is not the only thing being 

affected by this shortage, mattresses,

automobiles, boats, appliances, building

construction and steel making  industries have

all been negatively impacted.





WHAT IS FOAM


This material is a petroleum-based product used to create a soft and absorbent material used in a wide variety

of products. It's commonly used to cushion the seats of cars, added as insulation in homes, and is a common

material for mattresses.

 When the unprecedented freezes hit Texas and Louisiana, plants were knocked offline and closed for several

days when this happened. It is like trying to turn a cruise ship . It takes many weeks for them to

get back up to running. So on top of delays in everything else, foam is needed for cushions in the furniture

industry and any orders that were placed previously were not being filled. 

A huge backlog was created as these foam suppliers that provided cushions to the furniture industry were

not receiving what was needed to fill demand. Every manufacturer and especially the ones that use an

upgraded custom seat cushion filled with springs and down  had another month added to production times.

Every manufacturer of furniture have experienced delays causing furniture to take 4-8 months and longer

to build. Add to this, shipping delays and transportation, can take another 1-2 months to get to it destination

depending on the area of the country it is being shipped to.


So Order What You Will Know Will Be Worth The Wait.


This involves a lot of patience and perseverance , but will ultimately pay off. If you want

a specific quality of furniture or something custom made, it is best to order it the way you want it and then

wait. The demand for furniture has only been increasing so 5-6 months is coming either way and waiting only

delays the time to receive what you need. 


For Leather Furniture that can last 20 years or more, it is worth the hassle and additional time versus the

alternative. Buy Made In America for quicker response to ordering, as transportation costs and container wait

times on import products are still happening, not to speak of the increase costs of materials required to

produce furniture.

Keep in mind, the sales and furniture people in the industry want to build and deliver your furniture as fast as they can to make you happy with your purchase. A little patience can go along way. Hopefully this helps to explain what is creating the long wait times and how it effects everyone in the industry ,  things are improving, but it takes time.

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