Last year — amid port backups, container shortages and other supply chain nightmares — retailers and brands turned to the skies, sending demand for air cargo in 2021 up nearly 7% compared to 2019 by one estimate.
Shipping shirts and shoes, or Beanie Babies, by airplane has been an expensive but plausible workaround for many facing shipping bottle necks. Shipping couches or dining room sets by air — not so much.
Being larger, heavier, harder to move, more complex and crafted, and with manufacturing often geographically clustered, furniture and other home furnishings present a unique array of supply chain challenges even in normal times. The pandemic exacerbated all of them and created a host of new challenges.