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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.