U.S. Facing Huge Fourth of July Fireworks Shortage: What to Know

by Halle Ames
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With just one week until our country’s birthday, the United States is facing a Fourth of July fireworks shortage. 

The United State’s biggest and most patriotic holiday, the Fourth of July, is short on its main staple item for the day, fireworks. Across the country, fireworks are shot off in celebration for the momentous day, and everyone from small neighborhoods to the White House joins in on the fun. But could that be halted this year? 

According to PEOPLE, with people forced to stay indoors in 2020, they took it upon themselves to host their own Fourth of July firework celebrations. Now, supply shops are having a hard time keeping up with demand after last year’s “booming” sales. 

So, if you are looking to get your hands on some fabulous fireworks, you better head to the store sooner rather than later because they may sell out. 

NBC notes that an estimate of nearly 255 million fireworks were imported by the U.S. last year. Most of them came from China. This year, supplies are looking to be down by around 30 percent. 

In several parts of the country, people are already having a hard time finding Fourth of July fireworks. Some even report crossing state lines to find some for purchase. 

Why is there an Issue Getting Fourth of July Fireworks?

Furthermore, it seems prices for the beautiful explosives have increased as well. William Weimer, vice president and general counsel of Phantom Fireworks, told NBC that the prices are likely to jump 30 percent as well. He notes that this is due to the rise in shipping costs. Weimer says that the company is doing its best to lower the costs as much as possible for the consumer. 

“We try to do our best to try to absorb some of the costs,” he said. “In some cases, we’re paying more for the freight than the product.”

So, to rehash. Supplies are down 30 percent, and the price is up 30 percent. July 4, 2021, may not be as colorful as we hoped. 

Executive vice president for Phantom Fireworks, Alan Zoldan, warned in early June that Fourth of July fireworks consumers need to buy early this year or potentially miss out. 

“Like many other industries, the fireworks industry has also experienced delays due to shipment challenges facing the global market,” Zoldan said in a statement. “The good news is that we prepared early in anticipation of high demand again this year and are encouraging Phantom customers to do the same.”

Limited Number of Ships

According to PEOPLE, shipping has been a major issue with fireworks recently due to its exclusivity. Only a handful of shipping companies can accept the explosive supplies, and of those lines, ships have a limit on how much of the potentially dangerous cargo they can transport.

Specifically, the Suez Canal blockage in March is still causing issues with shipping delays and heightened prices. 

“Container capacity has been at a shortage for some time now. Couple that with the imbalance of vessels from the Suez Canal blockage. This has sent container pricing through the roof,” Glenn Koepke, SVP of Customer Success at FourKites logistics software company.

To make sure your Fourth of July firework celebration is a “blast,” you may want to start hunting around now! And it goes without saying, but please be safe!

Outsider.com