The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, and this holiday will certainly be affected by those supply chain issues and higher prices we are seeing across the country.
We’re talking about the shortage of fireworks.
San Tan Fireworks is setting up before it starts selling in a few days. The owner, Jason Colt, says he started building up quite the inventory a year and a half ago because he saw problems brewing, but there are price increases and supply chain issues that are affecting both the vendors and the consumers.
“We got all the fireworks in, almost, but we paid about 3.5 times more in shipping because of one guy in China controlling the port and playing games,” Colt said.
Add in the high fuel prices to transport products, many fireworks vendors are feeling the pain this season.
“I bought enough fireworks for a year and a half, but my competitors, they’re in trouble because they’re calling me,” Colt says. “A lot of other people in the industry have been having problems getting their fireworks because theirs leave Long Beach and have to get on the rail, and the rail is backed up getting it out to the west and other places out east.”
Colt says he doesn’t expect to run out this year, but that’s because he stocked his inventory in advance.
“My competitors are raising their prices about 30%. In the last year and a half, I’ve only raise my prices about 5% so I’m eating some of that cost,” Colt said.
There’s also a shortage of fireworks that towns and cities use to put on firework shows, and because those contain higher levels of explosives, they’re regulated by the ATF.
This year there are two main problems: a shortage of fireworks and the specialized crews to set them off.
Fountain Hills is having these very issues.
“It’s about having crews that are pyrotechnic specialists. These come from the companies. Having those companies be able to have those people light the fireworks so to speak. There’s a shortage of those groups right now,” says Bo Larsen, with the town of Fountain Hills.
This year, they have to move their fireworks show to July 1, for the first time in about 30 years. They won’t have the manpower to light them off on July 4, and it’s not an uncommon situation.
“The shortage of the fireworks and the crews is pretty much a new deal and new situation for probably every town in America right now,” Larsen said.
The city of phoenix is canceling 3 Fourth of July celebrations because of these shortages.
“Fabulous Phoenix Fourth, Light Up the Sky at the American Family Fields and After Dark in the Park will all be canceled this year due to supply chain issues affecting access to fireworks,” the city announced.