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Supply chain problems could affect holiday gift, meal shopping

Ripple effects from an ongoing supply chain crunch are hitting New Hampshire in ways that could impact holiday shopping.

If you're someone who typically waits until the last minute to get your holiday shopping done, you might not want to do that this year. The current supply chain issues are leading to delayed delivery times, shortages of products and higher prices for some household goods in New Hampshire.

"Many of these difficulties that we're facing are longer-term," said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as she visited a UPS facility Friday in Manchester.

Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, said Congress is making moves to help ease the strain caused by the supply chain problems.

"I think there are some changes that we can make at the federal level that would be helpful in terms of drivers," she said. "One is to address the issue that we have with drivers that are 18 and not able to go into other states."

"There are issues with the supplies themselves and not being able to make things," said Nancy Kyle, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Retail Association. "Then, it goes all the way down. There aren't people to deliver it. There aren't people to unload it."

Retail companies have been preparing for the holidays for months, but officials said that with the supply chain problems causing shipping delays, now is the time to shop.

"There are going to be issues this year, so people need to get out there and shop as quickly as they can," Kyle said.

People should be prepared that as they plan Thanksgiving and other holiday feasts, they might not find what they need. And some things could cost more.

"The cost of gasoline for the trucks is going to raise the price for goods, the price for labor," said John Dumais, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Grocers Association. "The incentives we have for those jobs is going to raise the price of those goods."

Grocers said shoppers should stick with what they need. Overbuying now could cause more problems when the holidays arrive.

"You don't need a year's supply of cranberry sauce or anything else coming in," Dumais said. "You need what you need for that dinner only, and if you do that appropriately now through the holidays, there will be enough for everybody around."