June 20, 2021 5 min read

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping
How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping

If you’ve ordered or are considering ordering furniture this year, you may have been aware that the shipping supply chain for furniture has been noticeably reduced. What once could be delivered in as fast as 14 days is now back-ordered with no exact delivery date.

There are several reasons for overseas shipping delays, with the catalyst being the COVID-19 pandemic that swept the world during 2020. Many people may not realize that for many countries where large amounts of furniture are made, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, the pandemic and resulting damage to both humanity and the economy are still causing shutdowns.

Furniture Fair has provided the Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky, and Louisville areas with quality furniture for over 55 years. In all that time, there has never before been such a perfect storm of adverse effects to the furniture manufacturing and shipping industry.

If you wonder why furniture made in Vietnam or Malaysia is delayed with no set date for delivery, this article is for you. Read on to discover how the pandemic is causing furniture shipping delays across the furniture industry and what you can do about it.

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping
How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping

What Is Causing Manufacturing & Shipping Delays In Vietnam?

With most of the country being opened back up and mask regulations no longer mandatory in many places, many might be tempted to think that the COVID-19 pandemic is over and that life is normal again.

Sadly many parts of the world are still dealing with the deadly effects of the pandemic while trying to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible. This means that many of the standard, behind-the-scenes functions that keep industries running efficiently are no longer keeping up with the needs of manufacturers and retailers.

Two significant points of furniture manufacturing and exporting are the countries of Vietnam and Malaysia. With an entire ocean floating between the countries of manufacturing and the United States, shipping is a major component necessary to keep the furniture retailing world turning.

Unfortunately, many ports that would typically be functioning at total capacity shut down temporarily or run on an extreme backlog due to the pandemic. The amount of inventory let through has to be prioritized based on need and limited to what room is available on the cargo transport ships.

While countries like Vietnam have recently overtaken countries like China in being the number one exporter of furniture into the USA, the pandemic has now limited production levels because of factories restricting the number of people who can work and the amount of contact they can have during the lockdown.

A significant point of furniture manufacturing in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, has had 30,702 confirmed cases of the virus since April 27th and is now imposing stricter lockdowns to help stop the spread of the virus.

Many manufacturing companies are creating isolated living spaces for workers who have tested negative for the vaccine. The workers can come and work without so much potential exposure to the virus.

Sadly, even if manufacturers can create more furniture, the lack of shipping containers, truck drivers, and an open port make it so that any furniture being made must be stored until there is room and resources ready to ship it overseas.

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping

What Is Causing Manufacturing & Shipping Delays In Malaysia?

While Malaysia is only responsible for about 6% of furniture exporting to other countries compared to Vietnam’s 33%, it is the third highest exporter of home furnishings, responsible for $1.4 Billion in furniture shipping during 2020 alone.

Malaysia is also suffering from delays due to the pandemic and the necessary shutdowns needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. While limited shipping of already manufactured furniture has been happening, manufacturing is limited to the hours regulated by the pandemic. Shipping container availability is also an issue for shipping from Malaysia.

The Malaysian government has stated that their current shutdown will continue until the total number of weekly cases drops below 4,000. Thankfully the limited contact that the shutdown will bring should help prevent new exposure and hopefully return to business sooner.

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping
How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping

What Can I Do About Furniture Delays?

Now that you understand a little more about what is causing shipping delays from overseas, you might be wondering what steps you can take to ensure that you get the furniture you want as soon as possible.

If you’ve already ordered furniture and are waiting on the delivery, the chances are that your furniture is made but is waiting to be shipped to you. As the furniture industry struggles to catch up to the massive backlog of orders brought on by the 2020 shutdown, more orders are constantly being added.

If you’ve already ordered furniture, the best option is to stick it out and wait for the furniture to arrive. If your order has already in process, you will have priority over more recent orders.

While canceling an order may be necessary, a canceled order will only result in you moving to the back of the waiting line, should you decide to order furniture again. If you want that perfect furniture you’ve picked out, the best way to get it as soon as possible is to wait for your order and stay in touch with your salesperson.

If you haven’t bought furniture yet, consider purchasing products that are already in stock. With in-stock furniture, you can take it home tomorrow if necessary. However, this option is becoming increasingly limited due to the limits of furniture available to buy.

If you want a specific type of furniture or special order, the best plan is to make a purchase, lock in the price, and then get added to the people waiting on their shipments to get in. Shipping is still behind the deadline for most deliveries, and sadly, increased freight charges mean that furniture prices are going up.

While the entire shipping delay situation is not ideal, nor is it easy, these are the best options for weathering the storm of overseas delays without canceling an order or being stuck with a product you do not really like as well as the one you wanted.

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping

Staying Strong During Furniture Delays

Now that you know a bit more about the manufacturing process overseas and why the pandemic is creating shipping delays, you can rest knowing that your order has not been forgotten.

Sadly, the entire furniture industry faces the same delays from overseas ports in Vietnam and Malaysia. The continuing COVID-19 cases worldwide are creating a lack of workers and a shutdown at manufacturing plants.

Remember that Furniture Fair is working as hard as possible to make sure you get your living room, dining room, or bedroom furniture as soon as it gets to our warehouses despite the delays and shutdowns. We want you to have your furniture as quickly as possible.

If you are currently waiting on order here at Furniture Fair, you can get in touch with your salesperson or customer care to find out when the most current estimated delivery time is.

You can also find out about how a shortage of foam materials is contributing to furniture delivery delays or what you can do to get your home ready for a visit from our in-house delivery team when your furniture is finally freed from those pesky shipping containers.

How Overseas Shutdowns Affect Furniture Shipping