JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From big rigs to small businesses, shipping delays are being felt across many industries.
Theresa Duncan says that may not make for a 'merry' Christmas.
"Definitely shop early. I know a lot of people are starting to hear that message, but it really is true," she explained.
She's the owner of Villa Villekulla Toys in Fernandina Beach. Her shelves are stocked for now, but she's still waiting on $40,000 in inventory.
Some of those items she ordered in June and she fears they won't make it to her store in time for the holidays.
"We almost have as much in backorder that has not arrived yet as we do in actual inventory in our store," Duncan told First Coast News.
Truck drivers are also seeing shipping slow down.
Jimmie Edmonson often waits for an hour or more at the Tampa port to load his cargo, which takes away driving time. "What I've seen, the ships are just sitting out in the ocean as far as the eye can see and they just can't get into the port," he said.
Edmonson believes the backlog of supplies, along with a shortage of truck drivers, makes for much slower delivery. He says an overloaded port takes longer to clear out.
"You can only get so much, so many containers into a port and if it's not going out, it's just going to get backed up," he said.
Duncan changed her business model, ordering from US companies not only to support them but to make sure some of the hottest toys do arrive in time.
She urges parents to begin shopping now. "If you are shopping with your local small businesses, you are going to have better access to inventory this year as we are accustomed to, 'Oh, we can find everything we want online,' it's just not going to be the case this year," she said.