Supply chain backups and shortages are causing all kinds of consumer woes, including low or missing stock.

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California’s governor has issued an executive order to address the shortage of truck drivers and container storage to try to move critical cargo out of the state’s ports and alleviate congestion. The order directs agencies to find state, federal and private land for short-term container storage while identifying freight routes for trucks so officials can temporarily exempt weight limits on the road. It also addresses educational programs and training for port workers and others in the supply chain. Supply chain backups and shortages are causing all kinds of consumer woes, including low or missing stock. Out-of-stock items jumped 172% in August compared to pre-pandemic levels. 


If you were shopping online in the late summer, chances are you may have been hit with an unfortunate message: The product you’re looking for is out-of-stock.

Products were out of stock online 24% more of the time in August from a year earlier across the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe Analytics, according to a report released Wednesday by the company. When compared to January 2020 — before reports of the Covid-19’s spread across the United States emerged — the jump in August 2021 was even bigger: 172%.
The Adobe report analyzed over 1 trillion online visits to a majority of the top 100 US web retailers. The data on out-of-stocks was obtained from merchants who use Adobe Analytics products to track purchases.
“We’ve never seen it as high as this for the 10 years or so that we’ve done this report. It’s a record,” said Taylor Schreiner, director with Adobe Digital Insights, of the August numbers.
Schreiner noted that “shoppers are feeling the impact. They won’t necessarily find what they are looking for all the time.”
Adobe didn’t break out the increases by category or provide raw figures on out-of-stocks. But of the 18 categories, Schreiner said clothing currently shows the highest out-of-stock levels, followed by sporting goods, baby products, electronics and pet products.
While consumers appetite for shopping remains strong, retailers have struggled with a number of supply chain difficulties, including hundreds of thousands of unloaded containers stocked with merchandise stuck on ships unable to dock at ports.