ATLANTA — Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Experts warn that wherever you shop, one holiday essential may be in short supply.
There are all kinds of items that are nowhere to be found but artificial Christmas trees could wind up at the top of the holiday list.
“A lot of bare shelves. Yes. I’ve seen quite a bit,” said shopper Beverly Elrod.
Much of the supply is manufactured in China. They are still making them in factories every day but can’t send them.
“Because many ships went to the U.S. this year got stuck at the ports and did not return. So we are waiting for the ships to return,” said tree supplier James Li.
Many of the large container ships are anchored off the coast of Los Angeles. Those big metal boxes are supposed to go to an artificial Christmas tree wholesaler in New Jersey. This company supplies products for retailers like Amazon and Target.
“Every day is a fight to get containers. We’re fighting against toy manufacturers, electronics manufacturers, and others to get the containers — and we’re having to pay a lot more for those containers,” said Chris Butler.
Butler is the CEO of the National Tree Company. He says the cost of an artificial Christmas tree is up by as much as 25%.
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Some shoppers are planning to get creative to make sure there is a tree in their home for the holiday.
“I think they’ll just get creative. Maybe get a ‘real’ tree? Maybe! That’s an option,” said Elrod.
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