When Infrastructure Fizzles, a Fireworks Shortage

From the American Pyrotechnics Association, a new release, “Fireworks Shortage Will Get Worse Before Better:

BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The U.S. fireworks industry is facing very troubling and challenging times. This year, for the first time ever, we are experiencing a shortage of fireworks and pyrotechnic devices, said Julie L. Heckman, Executive Director of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). While the product shortage is not as severe as the trade organization initially feared several months ago when imports were behind by almost 40%; it is, nonetheless very real as the industry approaches the Independence Day holiday with 10% – 15% of the fireworks expected from China not reaching the U.S. ports in time for the celebrations. Moreover, industry leaders fear that the transportation difficulties which created this years shortages will continue and could be a precursor of even greater challenges for the industry.

According to Heckman, the current shortage resulted from a significant port closure in China following a series of warehouse explosions. While fireworks were destroyed in those explosions, the fireworks shortage is related to the subsequent closure of the nearby Port of Sanshui, Foshan City, which had facilitated exports of approximately 70% of the fireworks imported in the U.S. from China. The port closure created a significant backlog in fireworks containers leaving China which required extensive re-routing.

Olympics-related activity is also burdening the ports. APA’s president, Michael Collar, adds that the transportation infrastructure within China is in need of serious attention if China wishes to remain the leading worldwide supplier of fireworks.

More from The Associated Press, which reports that some Chinese factories are being pushed close to bankruptcy. 

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