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Shipping concerns cause Hampton Roads businesses to stock up on holiday items early

Because of shipping congestion around the globe, some hot ticket items might not make it by December 25.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — While people are picking out Halloween costumes, Hampton Roads business owners recommend you start concentrating on the holiday shopping season.

Shipping delays are looming over retailers across the U.S.

The shelves are stocked at Bella Books Comics and Toys in Virginia Beach.

“We are the largest Funko retailer in Hampton Roads,” said Co-owner Matthew Belliveau.

Now Co-owner Matthew Belliveau says his mission is to keep those shelves stocked for the holidays.

“We were given a lot of notice from our wholesalers to order early so we ordered as early as March of this year,” Belliveau said.

He ordered figurines and more, 10 months before December.

Despite that fact, because of shipping congestion around the globe, some hot ticket items might not make it by December 25

“I will say we are still waiting on them, but we are hoping to get them this month. The Demon Slayer Funko Pops are probably going to be the hottest selling Funko Pops this year,” Belliveau said.

There have been plenty of supply chain issues overseas.

Things started shipping which led to huge backlogs at ports in the U.S., especially the West Coast.

“You have 70 plus vessels at anchor and the back up is weeks,” said Virginia Port Authority spokesman Joe Harris.

Despite that, Harris said cargo is flowing into our ports thanks to an $800 million investment in the terminals.

“Our facilities are able to handle that cargo because one, the facilities are brand new, they are modern,” Harris said. “We have a very experienced team; we have a very experienced labor partner.”

Harris said some ocean carriers with cargo heading elsewhere are coming to Virginia.

“They know they need to get that cargo ashore, they ask, and we accommodate,” Harris said.

But Harris said it’s not happening often because it takes a lot of money and time to reroute a ship.

Belliveau recommends that people don’t rely on preorders. Instead, start shopping with what’s available now and go small.

“While a lot of people are going to Target and Walmart, go left and check out small businesses,” Belliveau said. “We also offer a wide selection.”

Harris said the port is seeing monthly increases in the amount of cargo it’s handling, and he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon.

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