Nationwide fireworks shortage to put a damper on Fourth of July

Following an unprecedented surge in sales during the pandemic, a national fireworks shortage is threatening to put a damper on Fourth of July celebrations this year. 

Americans expecting to uphold the long held tradition of barbeques and lighting up fireworks might not get the chance this year due to supply shortages and price hikes. 

The American Pyrotechnics Association said that the U.S. fireworks industry exhausted their inventory after an unprecedented bump in sales last year, going from $1 billion in sales in 2019 to $1.9 billion in 2020. 

Firework usage last year experienced a 48 percent increase from 2019 APA said,  with a record-breaking 404.5 million pounds of pyrotechnics used in 2020 compared to 273 million pounds in 2019. 

Americans expecting to uphold the long held tradition of Barbequing and lighting up fireworks might not get the chance this year due to supply shortages and price hikes

Consumers can expect this year’s firework shortage to lead to a 15 to 20 percent increase in firework prices

‘With those record-breaking sales, retailers exhausted their inventories and have encountered numerous challenges preparing for this first post-pandemic major holiday,’ APA execut

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Other than high sales, hold ups in manufacturing in China and a shortage of shipping containers combined with transportation delays has resulted in a national shortage of pyrotechnics. 

Fireworks are usually transported from China by ocean vessel to U.S. ports, where they then are transported by railroad to importers facilities, and finally taken to distribution warehouses by way of trucks, APA said.

Americans expecting to led light bulb speaker up fireworks this independence Day might not get the chance this year due to supply shortages and price hikes

The distribution chain was disrupted because of COVID leading to a 30 percent shortage of consumer fireworks needed for this year’s fourth of July celebrations

But according to Heckman, the distribution chain was disrupted this year because of COVID leading to approximately 30 percent of consumer fireworks needed for this year’s fourth of July celebrations either not making make it out of China or just sitting on vessels on ports. 

‘Consumer fireworks, like many household consumer products, are caught up in the global supply chain disruption resulting from the pandemic,’ Heckman said. 

Stephen Pelkey, CEO of Atlas Pyrovision Entertainment Group told that increased shipping costs ranging from 250 percent to 300 percent or greater means that even if companies are able to ship the fireworks, they will likely be waiting on a ship outside a port.

‘With the continuing ongoing global shutdown and having probably only about 70 percent of the ships in operation, the ports just aren’t able to handle (this level of operation) because globally, you just don’t have a lot of this infrastructure that is completely back in service,’ he said. 

Pelkey expect that the shortage will likely lead to a 15 to 20 percent increase in firework prices a hike that will become the norm over the next couple of years for the fireworks industry, Yah

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