Global shipping delays cause fireworks shortage

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — At first glance, with names like ‘patriotic spirit,’ ‘sky bacon,’ and ‘red white and blue,’ you may assume the fireworks inside of Nitro Fireworks are made in the U.S.

But like most commercial-grade fireworks, they’re made in China, and this poses a problem this year.

“Global shipping has gone under a lot of pressure this year and shipping costs have doubled, sometimes tripled,” said Realynn McCamick, manager at Nitro Fireworks.

Container shortages, port delays, and the shutdown of factories in China due to COVID-19 are also factors contributing to this year’s shortage.

Staff at Nitro Fireworks say they foresaw a shortage coming so they bought their fireworks stock early; two weeks after last year’s 4th of July.

“With the major, major, major increase in fireworks sales last year, I mean, we were completely wiped out,” said McCamick.

Down at the TNT Fireworks stand in South Charleston, they’re not sure if they’ll have any restocks this year.

“This year we didn’t have as much of the sparklers and the fountains that we normally do,” said Josh Schindle with TNT Fireworks.

The problem, he says, is that “the product seems to be in the port and there’s a lack of drivers to get the product to the warehouse where it needs to go.”

But even with shipping delays and shortages, both vendors will tell you they expect this year to have bigger sales than last year, as people take to the streets to celebrate coming out of the pandemic.

“As far as our initial delivery goes, the dollar amount is higher than what we had last year, so you know we have the product – it’s here – but sometimes we have stuff in the back; we don’t have anything in the back this year,” he said.

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