Costco pandemic coronavirus
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  • Costco's stores of some imported food and home goods are running low.
  • Shipping constraints are causing delivery delays and putting pressure on retailers.
  • Costco's CFO said he expects supplies to return to normal within a few months.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Costco is running out of imported cheese due to port delays and a global scarcity of shipping containers.

On a conference call this month, CFO Richard Galanti said the retailer was seeing dwindling supplies for several household goods, including cheese, seafood, olive oil, furniture, sports equipment, and gardening supplies.

"Overseas freight has continued to be an issue in regards to container shortage and port delays," he said. "This has caused timing delays on certain categories."

Throughout the pandemic, shipping container shortages and port delays have upset key supply chains across the globe and caused shipping costs to skyrocket as brands compete for limited containers.

The total cost of delivering oversea products to the US nearly tripled last month in comparison to the previous year, as prices reached $6.36 billion as compared to $2.46 billion a year earlier, according to CNN.

Delays at key US ports, including Seattle, Oakland, and Los Angeles have also pushed delivery dates backwards and driven prices higher, though Galanti told investors he expects shipping delays to abate in the coming months.

While the pandemic has placed pressure on the supply chain, it has also boosted household spending, as people look to find new ways to relax and work from home.

Costco has largely profited off pandemic shopping habits. The retailer's fourth quarter earnings rose. Net sales for the quarter increased nearly 15% percent, to $43.89 billion, from $38.26 billion last year.

Online shopping has also helped buoy the company. E-commerce revenue climbed 75% from the previous year.

Read the original article on Business Insider