Manufacturers are airlifting Beanie Babies to get around supply chain logjams

To get out of using slow boats, the Beanie Babies manufacturer is booking cargo planes to get the plush toys to the States. As many. as 150 flights have brought Beanie Babies to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, where domestic distribution occurs. According to the Chicago Tribune, Beanie Babies aren't the only product traveling by cargo planes, which can cost more than 1.5 million per flight.

Surging demand and a shortage of workers has led to a pandemic-fueled backlog this fall of cargo ships anchored off the California coast, waiting to unload products. Beanie Babies, which are normally shipped by sea from China, were among the many products cast adrift by supply chain issues that continue to disrupt worldwide commerce.

Global demand for air cargo was up 9.1% in September compared with the same month in 2019, the International Air Transport Association said in a news release earlier this month.

Hasbro, Nike, Levi Strauss & Co., Lululemon, Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, Adidas, Deckers Outdoor Corp. — owner of UGG and Hoka shoe and apparel brands — are all using pricier airfreight to get around congested ports or make up for production delays, at least when it comes to key products, according to recent earnings calls and investor conferences.

Chicago Tribune