LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Shipping delays could persist for months as the pandemic stubbornly grips key supply chains around the world, according to retail experts.

Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of the Retail Association of Nevada, said he is cautiously optimistic heading into the fall and holiday shopping season. Some consumers have more disposable income, thanks to government spending programs, such as the tax credit for children.

But, there was a slight drop in consumer confidence in the month of August.

“We are still dealing with complications from the Suez Canal blockage (in March),” said Wachter. “In China, we are seeing a lot of ports go down due to the recent surge they are experiencing due to the Delta variant of COVID. In fact, the third-largest port in China is currently offline at the moment.”

All of that could spell delays for months to come.

“We have container ships lined up, can’t get into port,” said Wachter. “Those problems could materialize into the holiday season.”

Wachter said retailers are encouraging consumers to start shopping early this year for the holiday season in case shipping problems persist.