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Fireworks industry faces shortage before the 4th of July

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 11:10 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The 4th of July is less than a month away but getting your hands on fireworks might be more difficult this year. Places across the U.S. are facing a possible fireworks shortage.

Most fireworks in the U.S are made in China, but due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, shipping them here is proving to be difficult.

“It’s not really a manufacturing issue, because we deal with about 15 factories in China and they have it produced they just can’t get it shipped out, so it’s more of a transportation issue this year,” said Dan Raderschadt, owner of Lew’s Fireworks.

Many fireworks have made it to the U.S., but due to a worker shortage in California, many might not make it to their destination until after the 4th of July.

“Right now, I just heard as of a few days ago there is still probably 1,000 different containers, that are floating in the west coast, that are waiting to get unloaded that have fireworks on them,” said Raderschadt.

Those in the fireworks business say the problems with the pandemic have made a perfect storm for a firework shortage.

“This has been a different year for the industry and it’s a national thing, we do this 12 months out of the year, we start ordering anywhere from 14 to 12 months earlier, so we have been dealing with these shortages since before the last 4th of July,” said Kevin Lorenzen, owner of Pyro City Fireworks. “It’s just with all the issues, the supply chain, the shipping it’s just compounded and here we are with the industry shortages.”

The firework shortage won’t just affect the inventory we see this year, but the prices as well.

“Since shippers have to charge more to get it here the whole sellers have to charge more, so retailers are going to have to make up their margins and charge a little bit more, so customers can expect to see a price increase from about 20 to 30 percent,” said Andy Jorgensen, owner of Fire Bros. Fireworks.

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