Vinyl Shortages, Backorders and Price Increase: Keeping Midways Covered During COVID Is More Challenging Than Ever -

2022-07-23 00:23:35 By : Mr. HUANG YONG

The situation has been worsened by the global shipping slowdown, which further delayed supplies. Some PVC suppliers did shift towards more domestic production, but even that strategy was impacted by the energy crisis in Texas earlier this year, where massive winter storms produced power outages that severely impeded energy production, the ramifications of which industry observers say are still being felt. The labor shortages due to COVID have made matters worse at every stage of PVC production, through shipping and product processing.  “From talking to my vendors, the root causes of the worldwide resin shortages are many, from the electric outrages in Texas to the problems with shipping,” said Chuck Wheeler, owner of Amusement Wraps. “It's hard to get a straight answer on exactly why, but there is a shortage. We initially switched suppliers when bigger companies cut back on what they were allocating to us, but now those smaller suppliers are also reporting shortages.” “There are containers of PVC that are circling the waters because of the problems with the port system,” said Pete Downs of Waterloo Tent & Shade Creations. “Most recently, we're seeing shortages in white and yellow. We are seeing some price increases.” Like the rest of the fair industry, the wrap and “canvas” business – while the actual canvas fabric is rarely still used, the term has become synonymous with the vinyl based products that replaced it – shutdown in 2020. Orders slowed down and wrap, canopy and other midway suppliers likewise cutback operations. Typical of other midway vinyl manufactures, Downs estimates his orders were down more than 70 percent after the lockdown went into effect and fairs were cancelled. “We didn't even go to Gibtown.” The bulk of 2020 orders were coming from other customers, such as Amusement Parks and other outdoor facilities.