US store chain charters own ship to beat supply chain logjams

Delayed transports, cancelled bookings and freight hikes have led to US chain store The Home Depot to charter its own vessel to solve supply chain and logistics problems.

Delayed transports, cancelled bookings and freight hikes have led to US chain store The Home Depot to charter its own vessel to solve supply chain and logistics problems.

Congestion in ports due to the pandemic and a global shortage of serviceable containers has been a feature of the supply chain and liner sector for the last 12 months. In the US it has been particularly bad for The Home Depot store chain which is one of the major importers into the country. In order to resolve the problem and regain control of its supply chain, the retailer has taken the unusual step of chartering its own container vessel.

“We have a ship that’s solely going to be ours and it’s just going to go back and forth with 100% dedicated to Home Depot,” President and Chief Operating Officer Ted Decker said in an interview. It marks the first time that the company has taken such a step. Decker said the contracted ship, which will begin running next month, is just one example of the unusual measures that the company is taking as it copes with challenges that have ricocheted across the global supply chain.

Home Depot was caught by surprise, Decker said, when consumers’ extreme appetite for home improvement took off during the pandemic. The company has shown big sales growth with the company’s same-store sales soaring 31% year-over-year.

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